After-market steering wheel decals might not sound like dangerous add-ons, but a new consumer warning says they could be deadly.
The metal or plastic-plated decals can dislodge from a steering wheel in a crash from the force of a deploying airbag, hitting a vehicle occupant and causing serious injury or possibly death, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.
The federal regulatory agency says at least one driver has been seriously injured by such an incident. A decal decorated with rhinestones detached from the steering wheel in a crash the driver was involved in, hitting them in the face and causing loss of sight in one eye.
The decals are made to stick on to a steering wheel and are typically decorated with rhinestones and other shiny pieces. The agency says they can easily come loose in a crash, unlike permanently affixed manufacturer logos, and essentially become projectiles from the air bag force.
The NHTSA warns consumer to not buy the decals for any make or model and to remove any they’ve already stuck on their steering wheels. It adds that any alterations to airbags or their covers can prevent them from working as designed.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today