If an e-tron is not available, Audi will provide a auto with an internal-combustion engine and an $800 cash card for higher fuel costs and other expenses incurred.
Starting at $74,800, the Audi e-tron uses two electric motors to power all four wheels, with outputs of up to 402 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque in "boost" mode and 354 hp in standard configuration.
A recall has been issued for 1,644 2019 Audi e-tron SUVs for a potentially poor battery seal that could lead to a "thermal event" or "short circuit", per Audi.
Mark Dahnke, an Audi of America spokesman, said a yellow warning light activates if sensors detect moisture in the e-tron's electrical system, and that if the light activates, the crossover should be parked immediately in an outdoor area and shut off. Not all vehicles delivered to customers so far areaffected, the Audi representative said.
The e-tron isn't the first of the new wave of "Tesla fighting" premium EVs to be recalled, with the Jaguar I-Pace recently being recalled due to a potential fault in its regenerative braking system. According to a recall notice posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, if the regenerative-braking systems on the affected I-Pace vehicles fail, there will be a delay between when the driver presses the brake pedal and when the vehicle begins to slow down. While it has yet to issue a recall, the company did release an over-the-air software update for battery charge and thermal management "out of an abundance of caution". A total of 1,644 E-Trons have been shipped to the US, and the remainder will be fixed before being handed to customers.
VW's biggest profit contributor said it's offering E-Tron owners loaner vehicles and an $800 cash card to cover gas or incidentals during the recall period, as well as free roadside assistance.
According to Audi there have been five instances globally where a battery fault light turned on because of the moisture issue and it began contacting e-tron owners in the US last week, saying it should have a fix available by August.