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Mazda recalls 25,000 Mazda3 hatchbacks and sedans because the wheels might fall off

It's not hard to tell when your car has a couple loose lug nuts.

Wheels are best left connected to the car.
Jon Wong/Roadshow

If you've ever forgotten to secure even a single lug nut holding a wheel to a car, it doesn't take a lot of driving to notice that something has gone wrong. If the problem comes out of nowhere, though, it may catch a number of people by surprise. That's the reason behind Mazda's latest recall.

Mazda has issued a recall for approximately 25,000 examples of the 2019 Mazda3 in both hatchback and sedan form. The vehicles were produced between Sept. 25, 2018 and April 19, 2019.

The problem comes from the wheel lug nuts, which are responsible for securing the car's wheels to the car itself. According to the automaker, a manufacturing error caused a gap between the hub bolt head and a flange in the hub bearing assembly, which might lead to an eventual loosening of the lug nuts. If that happens and action isn't immediately taken, the wheel may fall off, which presents a pretty massive safety issue. Mazda says that a rattling noise will occur before the wheel falls off, and drivers will possibly feel some shuddering in the steering wheel.

Mazda discovered the issue in April after receiving a field report of a lug nut loosening. Two days later, Mazda found the root cause that could result in loose lug nuts. The automaker improved the assembly process to eliminate this gap between the parts, but it initiated a recall for vehicles already out of the factory with this issue.

The remedy is about as simple as it can get. Upon receiving recalled vehicles at the dealership, technicians will go about tightening the lug nuts, which will eliminate the gap between the parts and prevent the issue from happening again. No replacement parts are needed. Mazda will notify owners in early August via first-class mail.

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