(WFRV) – Are you thinking about putting rhinestones or other gems on your steering wheel to spice up the look? You might want to think twice.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is warning consumers about aftermarket steering wheel decals that could potentially cause significant injury or death.
At least one driver suffered a serious injury that resulted in the loss of sight in one eye after an aftermarket emblem adorned with rhinestones became dislodged from the steering wheel in a crash and hit the driver in the face.
The product is a metal or plastic plate, usually covered with rhinestones or other shiny decorations, with an adhesive back that covers the vehicle’s logo in the center of the steering wheel.
In a crash, the force of a deploying airbag can turn the product into a projectile, resulting in serious injury or even death.
Unlike the permanently affixed logo on your vehicle’s steering wheel, these aftermarket decals can become easily dislodged when the airbag deploys. Any alterations or changes to your airbag or its cover can also cause it not to function correctly.
NHTSA is asking consumers to avoid purchasing these steering wheel decals for all vehicle makes and models. Consumers should also remove any such decals that they have already applied to their steering wheels.