In a recent safety alert, U.S. regulators have strongly advised against the use of aftermarket decals on car steering wheels. These decorative emblems, usually made of metal or plastic and embellished with elements like rhinestones, are attached to the steering wheel’s center with adhesive. However, they can become lethal projectiles if the airbag deploys during an accident.
The NHTSA highlighted the severity of the risk by citing a case where a driver was blinded in one eye after a rhinestone-covered decal was ejected from the steering wheel during a collision. The agency emphasized that any modifications to the airbag or its cover could compromise its proper function, potentially leading to serious injury or even death.
The warning is not limited to a specific vehicle make or model; it applies universally. The NHTSA is calling on drivers who have installed such decals to remove them immediately to prevent potential injuries. These aftermarket products are widely available online through various third-party sellers, including prominent platforms like Amazon, Etsy, Shein, Temu, and Walmart. Following the NHTSA’s announcement, the Associated Press has sought responses from these companies regarding the safety concerns raised.