Unfortunately, it seems that many of these systems are relatively fragile. I've been told by dealers that not only are updates to the car's various control modules not covered by warrantees, it's not unlikely that some updates will irreparably harm some modules, requiring that they be replaced for hundreds or thousands of dollars. Essentially, you aren't covered for anything regarding the software in the car, and maybe not even some of the hardware if it fails during maintenance. This won't affect the car's nominal function, but the radio, navigation, climate control systems, and so forth may not function at all. This isn't unique to Audi either, as BMW has essentially the same policies. So in essence, although the mechanical/computer ratio on some of the newer cars is nearly 1:1, some of those computer parts aren't covered.
Another problem is with the techs themselves. I've heard time and again "Some of these cars are like your home computer. They break, and nobody knows how or why, or how to fix them." Rip and replace becomes the norm, rather than debugging.
So I'm on my own, armed with a VAG-COM USB CAN interface, a laptop, and my brain. So far, I've managed to dip into the car's computer to change a bevy of hidden settings, adjust the service interval timings, and reset the coding on the roof electronics module since it managed to forget that it had a light sensor and a garage door opener. The last part required rebooting the whole car by pulling the negative lead on the battery. Making changes to the car's computers in this way is highly dangerous in many cases. Setting the wrong value on a specific component can disable the component completely, or even cause the car to become inoperable. It's not quite the same as inadvertently dropping a washer into a cylinder, but the outcome can be similar.
On older cars, I've done radiator and manifold replacements, brakes, oil changes, and the like, but I'm on my quest to see what it's like as a modern-day shadetree mechanic. My tools aren't grease guns, ratchet sets and floorjacks, but rather firmware, CD-burners, and a laptop. My next tasks are to look into altering the transmission shifting timing and hopefully fix the route that's stuck in the navigation system. It's a whole new world.