Whooops, the wheels off

I just went to pick up my car from the shop today, and as I drove away noticed a strange knocking noise and the wheel pulling to the right occasionally. I immediately returned to the shop and as I came back out noticed some missing lug nuts from my drivers side front tire. Turns out they had forgotten to screw them back on!

The mechanic who worked on the car took off the wheel and told me everything looked fine. But at the same time, I think he might have just been trying to get me to leave before the owner got back from lunch. What kind of damage could have been done from driving about 200 yards with the lug nuts not tightened? Should I take it somewhere and have them look at everything.

Maybe relevant: My mom, who has always loved my pt cruiser, has decided to buy it from me; I was getting it fixed up for her. If this is a safety issue, I want to know as I don’t want to get her killed or injured.

It could damage the holes in the wheel and the threads on the studs.

If the lugs spin on and off smoothly, the holes on the wheel are still the correct shape, and there is no vibration or wobble at speed, then you should be okay.

You might want a disinterested party to look at the hub studs, the lug nuts, and the wheel to see if any damage was done as the wheel pounded against the studs and lug nuts. Right now you have a cause of action for damages against the shop that may be clouded by a few months of inaction.