The Dangers of Steering Wheel Decorative Emblem Decals

Home » The Dangers of Steering Wheel Decorative Emblem Decals
December 03, 2023
Edward Smith

Steering Wheel Decorative Emblem Decals Pose Serious Safety Risks

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a critical warning to consumers regarding aftermarket steering wheel decorative emblem decals. These seemingly harmless adornments, often covered with rhinestones or other shiny decorations, pose a significant safety risk to drivers and passengers.

Understanding the Hazard

The product in question is a metal or plastic plate that adheres to the center of a vehicle’s steering wheel, covering the manufacturer’s logo. While they may seem like harmless decorative additions, these decals can turn into deadly projectiles in the event of a crash, especially when airbags deploy.

In a recent occurrence, a driver sustained a severe injury that led to the loss of vision in one eye. This occurred when a rhinestone-studded aftermarket emblem detached from the steering wheel during a collision and struck the driver in the face. This incident highlights the seriousness of the matter, emphasizing that seemingly harmless accessories can result in life-changing outcomes.

The Mechanics Behind the Danger

The primary danger lies in the interaction between these aftermarket decals and the deployment of airbags. Unlike the permanent manufacturer’s logo on the steering wheel, designed to stay in place during an accident, these aftermarket decals can quickly become dislodged when an airbag is deployed. When the airbag inflates, the force generated can turn the decorative emblem into a high-speed projectile, posing a severe threat to anyone in its path.

Any alterations or changes to your vehicle’s airbag or cover can compromise functionality. This means that even if the decorative emblem remains in place, the airbag might not perform as intended during a collision, increasing the risk of injury or death.

NHTSA’s Urgent Warning

Given the substantial safety concerns associated with these decorative decals, the NHTSA is urging consumers to take immediate action. Here are the critical points of their warning:

  • Avoid Purchasing Steering Wheel Decals: The NHTSA strongly advises against purchasing or using these steering wheel decorative emblem decals for all vehicle makes and models. While they may enhance the aesthetic appeal of your car’s interior, the potential consequences far outweigh any visual benefits.
  • Remove Existing Decals: If you have already applied one of these aftermarket decals to your steering wheel, it is crucial to remove it promptly. This step is essential to eliminate the risk of injury in an accident.

Ensuring Your Vehicle’s Safety

As a responsible vehicle owner, it’s essential to prioritize safety above aesthetics. While personalizing your vehicle’s interior can be tempting, it should never come at the expense of your well-being and that of your passengers.

Here are some additional safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Follow Manufacturer Recommendations: Always adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines regarding vehicle modifications and accessories. They have extensive knowledge of your vehicle’s safety systems and are best equipped to advise you on potential hazards.
  • Regular Maintenance: Maintain your vehicle in good condition by following the recommended maintenance schedule. This includes checking the airbags, steering wheel, and all safety-related components.
  • Choose Safety Over Aesthetics: When it comes to vehicle modifications, prioritize safety over aesthetics. Ensure that any changes you make to your vehicle do not compromise its safety features or functionality.

The NHTSA’s warning regarding aftermarket steering wheel decorative emblem decals is a crucial reminder of the potential dangers lurking in seemingly harmless accessories. Consumers must heed this warning, avoid purchasing such decals, and remove existing ones to mitigate the risks associated with these products. Prioritizing safety on the road is essential, and every effort should be made to minimize potential hazards, no matter how small they may seem.

In the following video, a driver who experienced significant injuries in an accident caused by their own emblem on the steering wheel shares a warning with others who have similar emblems on their steering wheels.

California Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one have experienced the devastating consequences of a car accident, our law firm is here to provide the legal support and guidance you need during this challenging time. At, we specialize in assisting victims of accidents and ensuring they receive the compensation they rightfully deserve. Call our dedicated team of injury attorneys at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for a free consultation.

Photo by Ildar Garifullin on Unsplash

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