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U.S. Regulators Issue Warning About Aftermarket Steering Wheel Decals

by Anna

U.S. regulators are cautioning drivers against the use of aftermarket decals designed to decorate a car’s logo in the center of its steering wheel. These metal or plastic emblems are often adorned with rhinestones or other embellishments and are affixed to the steering wheel using adhesive backing. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned that such decals can pose a serious risk of injury if they become dislodged when the airbag deploys during a crash.

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The NHTSA disclosed that at least one driver suffered a loss of eyesight in one eye when an aftermarket decal, covered in rhinestones, dislodged from the steering wheel during a crash and struck the driver in the face. The force of a deploying airbag in a collision can turn these aftermarket decals into dangerous projectiles, potentially resulting in severe injury or even death, the federal agency explained. Unlike the logos permanently attached to a car’s steering wheel, these aftermarket decals are prone to becoming easily dislodged.

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Furthermore, any alterations or changes to an airbag or its cover can interfere with its proper functionality, which could be life-threatening in the event of an accident. Therefore, the NHTSA strongly advises drivers to refrain from purchasing and installing these aftermarket steering wheel decals, regardless of the make and model of the vehicle. The agency is also encouraging those who are currently using these emblems to remove them promptly.

Aftermarket decals for steering wheels are readily available from various third-party sellers online, with listings on platforms such as Amazon, Etsy, Shein, Temu, and Walmart. Following the NHTSA’s alert, inquiries were made to these companies for their responses.

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