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NHTSA Warns Rhinestone Steering Wheel Decorations Could Cause Injuries or Death

rhinestone steering wheel
NHTSA Warns About Gem Steering Wheel DecorFashion Car / Amazon

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a warning to consumers on Monday about aftermarket steering wheel decals that could cause serious injury or death. At least once driver suffered a loss of vision in one eye when an aftermarket rhinestone-covered emblem dislodged in an accident and hit the driver in the face, NHTSA said.

These aftermarket emblem covers are typically covered in rhinestones or similar decorations and are simply held in place with adhesive. The logo on your steering wheel is permanent and designed to remain affixed to the wheel even in the event of an airbag deployment. These aftermarket emblems are not.

As a result, the aftermarket emblem can become dislodged in an accident. If the airbag were to deploy, those sparkly rhinestones would likely be turned into projectiles heading straight for your face at speed.

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Many folks love to modify and personalize their cars, but a modern airbag-equipped steering wheel is one part that should be left gem-free. Some steering wheel modifications can even hinder the operation of the airbag deployment.

“Any alterations or changes to your airbag or its cover can also cause it to not function correctly,” NHTSA said.

The airbag is one of the greatest safety innovations in the history of the automobile. However, in order to do its job properly it must deploy with significant force. It is a violent event. Placing a collection of small, hard objects on the airbag cover to be fired at your face at tremendous speed is asking for trouble. Avoid this mistake and if you already have these aftermarket emblems on the car, remove them immediately.

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