The NHTSA announced a “Preliminary Investigation” into the Ford Fusion sedan after receiving complaints from consumers about the wheel studs, the bolts that holds the cars’ wheels to the body, saying they were fracturing or breaking. This is very dangerous because the wheel can dislodge and possibly fall off completely.

The 2010 Mercury Milan was added to the investigation into 2010 Ford Fusions after the NHTSA began receiving similar complaints about the Mercury Milan. Mercury, a now discontinued subsidiary of Ford Motor Co., received many of the same parts as Ford would and the Milan is Mercury’s equivalent to the Ford Fusion, so it is not hard to see why the NHTSA furthered this investigation to include Mercury. The NHTSA received 29 complaints in total, 4 of which involved the wheel disconnecting from the body of the vehicle entirely. The vehicles affected so far are typically those with low mileage (less>11,000 miles).

The NHTSA has announced that it has bumped its investigation up to “Engineering Analysis” status. This typically follows a Preliminary Investigation when if it pans out. Though no recall has been announced yet involving this specific defect, these are the first steps in the NHTSA’s process to getting vehicles recalled. With the amount of danger this defect possibly presents, its would be no surprise if one was announced soon.