NHTSA Recommends Not Using Steering Wheel Decorative Emblem Decals
Steering wheel decorative emblem decals have gained popularity in recent years as a way to personalize and add a touch of style to a vehicle’s interior. These decals come in various designs, ranging from logos of car manufacturers to intricate patterns and images. They are typically made of vinyl or other adhesive materials and are applied directly to the surface of the steering wheel.
The appeal of a decorative steering wheel can instantly transform the look and feel of a vehicle’s interior, giving it a unique and personalized touch. Many car enthusiasts and owners are drawn to the upgrade because they provide an affordable and easy way to customize their steering wheels without the need for expensive modifications or aftermarket parts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a warning to 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, when 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 air bag can turn the product into a projectile, resulting in serious injury or death.
Unlike the permanently affixed logo on your vehicle’s steering wheel, these aftermarket decals can easily become dislodged when the air bag is deployed. Any alterations or changes to your air bag or its cover can also cause it to not 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.
For car owners looking to personalize their steering wheels without the risks associated with decorative emblem decals, several alternatives can be considered. There are alternatives that minimize potential hazards.
One popular alternative is steering wheel covers. These covers come in various materials, designs, and colors, allowing car owners to change the look of their steering wheels without permanent modifications. Steering wheel covers also provide added comfort, grip, and protection to the steering wheel’s surface.
Another option is custom embroidery. Instead of applying adhesive decals, embroidery can be directly stitched onto the steering wheel’s cover or surface. This provides a personalized touch without the use of potentially harmful materials or adhesives.