Actually, while in the fiero I can understand it, if you don't use my technique for getting in and out, I'm all legs and no matter where I put the wheel I'll smack it, so I put one foot close to the door jam, turn and sit (controlled fall) and swing my legs under. when I get out, I put my left hand on the rocker panel, left foot out and roll out to a standing position. then if anyone is in the car, walk around and haul their butts out, cause no one seems to be able to get out, steering wheel or not!
One specific case I saw the guy used the tilt in a cherokee. was not a big guy, just liked to flip the wheel up when he got out. in 2 years, he started having problems with shorts, opens and wierdness. I know of others who experienced the same in other cars, so factor in a 20 year old car, and it's no surprise that things like this happen.