I’m trying to figure out what happened to my car and why the wheel blew off. Thankfully, even though my car is shot, I’m fine. Here is what happened:
Two weeks after getting some repairs done on my car (the wheels were removed in the process), I was driving down the highway at about 60 mph and my tire blew off. I had felt a slight bit of bumpiness beforehand, but I live at 7000 feet at this sometimes happens. A person driving behind me said she saw the lug nuts fly off with immense pressure and the passenger side rear wheel popped off “like a champagne cork” right afterwards. According to witnesses, and what I’ve deduced from the damage on the car, the car bounced off the passenger side and rolled to the driver side. We did almost a full roll. We slid down the road for a bit on the passenger’s side and then came to a halt.
I inspected the wheel and the tire. The tire, which we found about 100 yards from the accident looked normal. Three of the five bolts (where the lug nuts attach) look completely normal with no signs of pressure or wear. We were able to screw lug nuts back onto these three without any resistance. The other two appear to have been broken off when the wheel came off and the car dropped to the ground.
Does anyone have any idea why this could have occurred? It seems like the car shop might have forgotten to screw the lug nuts on tightly enough, but I’m unsure. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.