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Hand Controls in 90D (Wish We Had Grab Bars)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by lkuntz, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. lkuntz

    lkuntz Member

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    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    We took delivery of our 90D in December 2016 and had hand controls installed last week. These are mechanical hand controls that are mounted to the steering column and at the back of the brake and accelerator pedals. For those who may not know, you push the handle forward towards the dash to brake and down towards the floor to accelerate. The manufacturer of the hand controls did not have a bracket that fit the current Model S steering column, so our installer had to make one. Luckily, he didn't need to cut into the dash to mount the controls, although he did need to remove the driver's knee airbag. We also lost the ability to tilt or telescope the steering wheel.

    Unfortunately, we were not able to have any grab bars installed. We were told that there are too many wires in the door frames and there is no easy way to mount them. It's a big deal for us, because my husband can't stand or walk. The grab bars in other cars make it easier for him to transfer from his wheelchair to the car seat. We tested out the driver's side at the Tesla showroom and it was okay (he can use the steering wheel to help). We neglected to try the passenger's side, which, it turns out, is pretty hard to do. While I know they are not aesthetically pleasing, I'm hoping that Tesla will make grab bars an option in the future. We knew what we were getting and are very happy with the car, it just would have been nice to be able to make it more accessible.
     

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  2. Ormond

    Ormond Member

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    The Model X could use some assist straps too. I hope you find a solution. If you do, please share it with us.
     
  3. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    Modifications look very nicely done. Can you leave them installed and still access the pedals? How do you like regen braking with the hand controls?
     
  4. lkuntz

    lkuntz Member

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    I absolutely will. Thanks.
     
  5. lkuntz

    lkuntz Member

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    Yes, we have been very pleased with the installations. The installers are very experienced and this is the 6th car they have done for us since 1993. Yes, the hand controls are permanent and they do not interfere with use of the pedals at all. To be honest, I haven't tried them yet. I'm still getting used to driving the car the regular way! I'll let you know what my husband thinks of the regen braking after he drives the car.
     
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  6. Cyclone

    Cyclone Cyclonic Member ((.oO))

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    Wow. Looks like a decently clean install; as in, unless I was paying close attention, I wouldn't notice it at all. I am glad to hear they allow for you both to use the vehicle. I look forward to your husband's report on how it is to drive the car!

    Btw, have you thought of tweeting Elon a pic and asking if his team has thought about designing a mount point for a grab bar for people in wheelchairs like your husband to have such modifications installed? I would hope that if a designer spent some time working on it from a means of making it more accessible to the disabled, they could device a simple change that would let those who need it install it. For instance, my 4Runner had two grab bars on the passenger side, but only one on the driver side. However, the mount points for them were there, so someone could add one securely if needed. The S/X could have similar points installed with the wiring routed around appropriately, without "destroying" their desired aesthetics for most production cars. But having the mount point there lets modifiers install such stuff for those who need/want it.
     
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  7. thimel

    thimel Member

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    Could you please say who you had do the installation? I have friends in need of hand controls on their car.
    Thanks.
     
  8. lkuntz

    lkuntz Member

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    I don't do twitter, but I have sent an email to my OA, asking him who to talk to about this. No response yet, so we'll see. A mount point would be an excellent compromise. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
  9. lkuntz

    lkuntz Member

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    We use Mobility Systems in Berkeley, CA. Their website is mobilitysystems.com
     
  10. thimel

    thimel Member

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    Thanks.
     
  11. docherf

    docherf Member

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    I'm curious how you decided on the S instead of the X?

    The install looks great.
     
  12. lkuntz

    lkuntz Member

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    Thanks. We wanted the extra range that the S has (just missed the 100D by a few weeks!). Also, my husband felt that the X was too big. And, of course, the cost.
     

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