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NHTSA warns against using aftermarket steering wheel decals again after latest injury

Another driver suffered severe injuries when an air bag deployed, sending two pieces of a metal aftermarket decal with rhinestones into his face and neck

Washington, D.C.—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is again warning consumers not to use or buy aftermarket steering wheel decals after learning of another driver who suffered severe injuries from the decorative emblem during a crash. 

The driver was involved in a crash in which the airbag deployed and sent two pieces of a metal aftermarket decal with rhinestones into the person’s face and neck. 

NHTSA is aware of at least one other driver who suffered a severe injury from an aftermarket steering wheel decal in a vehicle crash. In that case, the driver lost sight in one eye after the rhinestone-adorned decal dislodged from the steering wheel and hit the driver in the face. 

Aftermarket steering wheel decals are made of metal or plastic and are usually covered with rhinestones or other shiny decorations. They have 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 death. 

Unlike the permanently affixed emblems on your vehicle’s steering wheel, these aftermarket decals can easily become dislodged when the airbag deploys. Any alterations or changes to an airbag or its cover can also cause it to malfunction. 

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