Customizing our cars has become a popular way for people to express their personalities and add a unique touch to their vehicles. However, a recent warning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alerts drivers to a potential danger associated with a seemingly harmless trend: rhinestone decals on steering wheels. If you’re involved in a crash where the airbags deploy, these decals can cause serious injury.
Aftermarket decals and airbags
According to the NHTSA, aftermarket decals, particularly those adorned with rhinestones or other embellishments, pose a serious risk of injury or even death in the event of a crash. The concern arises from the potential for these metal or plastic objects to become projectiles when an airbag deploys. The force generated during a collision can dislodge the decals, turning them into dangerous objects that may cause harm to the driver and passengers.
This was demonstrated in one reported case, where a driver lost sight in one eye after a rhinestone-covered aftermarket decal became dislodged during a crash and struck them in the face.
Who is accountable when a driver sustains injuries due to aftermarket modifications? Here are some potential responsible parties:
- Manufacturers: Companies producing and selling aftermarket steering wheel decals may face legal scrutiny. If it’s determined that their products are inherently unsafe and prone to causing injuries, they may be held responsible for damages.
- Online retailers: Platforms like Amazon, Etsy, Shein, Temu and Walmart, where these decals are readily available, may also come under scrutiny. Questions may arise regarding the responsibility of these platforms in ensuring the safety of products sold by third-party vendors.
- Consumer awareness: Drivers who choose to purchase and install aftermarket decals on their steering wheels may bear some responsibility. If a consumer is adequately warned about the potential dangers of such modifications and still proceeds, their decision may impact liability.
In response to the identified risks, the NHTSA has issued a consumer alert urging drivers to refrain from purchasing aftermarket steering wheel decals. Furthermore, those who currently have these decorations on their steering wheels are strongly encouraged to remove them.
If you were injured by aftermarket vehicle parts or embellishments, the Law Offices of Tim Misny can help. Call today to learn more about your legal options. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries.
Consult with an Ohio personal injury attorney today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your personal injury claim. If you or a loved one were injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 800-556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.