When I was a kid, hubcap collecting was one of the few ways that I could tangibly nurture my young love of cars. These days, with nearly every new car sold with alloy wheels, hubcap collecting is a dying hobby. It would almost never occur to most motorists that hubcaps falling off of a car might trigger a federal recall, but this is still 2020, so here we are.
According to a new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice, select and four-doors are being recalled because their wheel hubcaps might fall off while driving. According to the NHTSA, "If the wheel-hub caps detach, they can become a road hazard, and increase the risk of a crash or injury for other road users."
As these models feature alloy wheels, the recall applies not to a traditional plastic or steel full wheel cover, but instead to the detachable center caps that carry Daimler's legendary Three-Pointed Star logo.
The recall affects 1,142 vehicles, and MBUSA will notify owners of affected models and offer to replace their hubcaps at the company's own expense. The recall is expected to begin Feb. 16, 2021, and concerned AMG-GT 53 and AMG-GT 63 owners are urged to call Mercedes customer service at 1-800-367-6372 for more details.
Given that Benz says the AMG-GT 63 can hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and run to a top speed of 195 mph, the idea of anything coming off of one of these slipstream liftbacks and becoming a high-speed projectile is admittedly a sobering thought. That said, can you imagine if the federal government regularly recalled cars back in the '70s and '80s for hubcaps that fell off? Dealership service bays would've been full around the country 24/7, and this hubcap-collecting boy might never have become an automotive journalist.