June 3, 2024

Dangers of Aftermarket Steering Wheel Decals

A recent NHTSA consumer alert is urging drivers to avoid using any aftermarket steering wheel emblems to avoid the risk of injury in an accident.

Dangers of Aftermarket Steering Wheel Decals

According to a May 2024 consumer alert by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the agency is aware of at least two cases where decorative steering wheel emblems have caused severe injuries during an accident. Federal regulators are urging drivers to avoid using aftermarket steering wheel decals for any vehicle, regardless of year, make, and model. Consumers are also advised to take off any aftermarket decals or emblems that have already been placed on their steering wheels.

Cases Involving Serious Injuries from Aftermarket Steering Wheel Badges

In the first case, the motorist of the vehicle experienced vision loss in one eye after they were struck in the face by an aftermarket rhinestone decal sticker that detached from the steering wheel. NHTSA was made aware of a more recent case where another motorist sustained serious injuries to the neck and face. The injury occurred when two fragments of a rhinestone metal aftermarket decal hit them during airbag deployment in an accident.

Why are Aftermarket Steering Wheel Emblems Unsafe?

Aftermarket emblem stickers for steering wheels are composed of plastic or metal that are typically adorned with crystals, rhinestones, or other shiny materials. The emblems have adhesive backing that covers the vehicle logo in the center of the steering wheel. The safety concern for aftermarket steering wheel decals is that they can become a projectile during a motor vehicle accident from the force of air bag deployment, resulting in traumatic injury or even death in some extreme cases.

If your steering wheel has an aftermarket decorative emblem sticker for the steering wheel, remove it immediately to avoid the risk of serious injury in an accident.

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