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NHTSA warns aftermarket steering wheel decals could cause injury, death in crash

Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning drivers to steer clear of aftermarket decals which could become shrapnel in a crash and cause injury or death.

In a warning issued Monday, the NHTSA advised against attaching any kind of decal to steering wheels on cars or trucks after at least one driver suffered a serious injury in a crash. According to the federal agency, the rhinestone emblem flew off and hit the driver in the face, causing him to lose sight in one eye.

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"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," the NHTSA said in a statement.

While the carmaker's permanent logo on vehicle steering wheels is safe, the NHTSA warned adding additional decals is not.

The NHTSA, which according to its website is tasked with "keeping people safe on America's roadways," advises drivers to avoid buying steering wheel decals for cars or trucks, while immediately removing any logos that were not provided by the manufacturer.

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