Well that’s not a good look for Mazda.
The fourth-generation Mazda3, good-looking car that it is, has hardly been out for a few months, but it’s already having a tough time. That has nothing to do with the car’s sales or overall quality, it's only a reference to the fact that Mazda has just issued a recall for the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback due to a manufacturing defect that took place when assembling the wheel and lug nut.
It’s a peculiar problem to have, and the NHTSA’s website only details that the manufacturing defect resulted in a gap between the wheel hub bolt and hub flange during assembly, a problem that can go on to cause the lug nuts to loosen.
"A manufacturing process error may result in a gap between the wheel hub bolt and hub flange during assembly,” reads the NHTSA’s Safety Recall Report. "This gap causes loosening of the lug nuts though they were initially properly tightened to the correct specification at the plant.”
In extreme cases, the wheel lug nuts could loosen to the point that they fall off during normal driving, causing the wheel to separate from the vehicle and, well, fate can go anywhere at that point. The only warning that a driver may get that the wheel is about to come off is a rattling noise that occurs prior to its departure.
About 25,003 Mazda3s built between April 19th and May 3rd are affected by the recall, though Mazda and the NHTSA estimate that only 1% of vehicles in that batch actually have the problem and that no injuries or accidents have resulted from the issue. Owners will receive an official recall notice on or before August 6th, 2019.
Thankfully, the fix is very simple. It simply requires owners of these cars to go to their nearest Mazda dealership and have a technician tighten the lug nuts for free.