OP: are you talking about the portion inside the firewall, or outside the firewall? If outside, I know of no car that has a fully encapsulated steering column shaft outside of the firewall. Part if not all of that section is exposed.
As far as inside the car, as Leftie mentioned, on many cars the last several inches of so of this shaft tend to be exposed.
Either way, it's nothing to worry about.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar at 34 months/26,435 miles. Lease returned 2 months later. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F.
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL.