Mazda 3 cars recalled amid fears wheels could fall off

(CNN) — Urgent recall notices have been issued for more than 3,000 new Mazda vehicles in Australia, amid concerns that their wheels could fall off due to manufacturing errors.

The car manufacturer has concerns about the safety of the new 2019 Mazda 3 hatchback model, whose wheel nuts could loosen over time and, in a worst-case scenario, cause a wheel to detach, Mazda said.

The recall notice affects 3,323 vehicles sold between April 8, 2018 and June 21, 2019.

Consumer safety regulator Product Safety Australia issued the recall notice, citing concerns about the safety of the wheel studs.

“During the manufacture, wheel studs may not have been fully seated,” the regulator said in a statement. “A small gap may exist between the wheel studs and hub assembly.

“The stability of the vehicle may be affected, increasing the risk of loss of vehicle control and potentially resulting in an accident injuring vehicle occupants and other road users.”

Owners of the affected models will be contacted directly by Mazda Australia, Product Safety Australia said, and the vehicles will be repaired free of charge.

A similar recall notice was issued for the same model in the US in June, which affected more than 25,000 vehicles.

Mazda USA issued a statement warning that “in the worst case, continuous use will lead to a wheel detaching from the vehicle. A wheel separating from the vehicle increases the risk of a crash.”

Mazda USA said, however, that no cases of wheel separation had been reported due to this issue.

Product Safety Australia also issued recall notices for a number of older Jeep and Dodge models made between 2007 and 2010, citing concerns ranging from incorrect data on tire placards to manufacturing errors affecting braking.

A total of 2,559 vehicles are affected.

In the Jeep Cherokee 2010 model, the regulator warned that the brake pedal linkage clip may have been manufactured incorrectly.

“A defective or missing brake pedal linkage clip could cause the brake booster input rod to detach from the brake pedal,” the statement said.

“If the brake booster rod detaches from the brake pedal, the vehicle may lose its service brakes, increasing the risk of an accident that may cause injury to the vehicle occupants and other road users,” it added. A total of 55 vehicles are affected by this recall.

The regulator also raised concerns about the Jeep Cherokee 2008 model, noting that the windshield “may have been installed using an incorrect urethane adhesive.”

“The glass can separate from the vehicle while driving, increasing the risk of an accident,” the regulator said. This recall affects 12 vehicles.

CNN has contacted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which manufactures Dodge and Jeep vehicles, for comment.

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