number of Americans report that they have some type of physical
disability that affects their means to work and lead a 'normal'
life. Activities most people take for granted, such as driving,
become difficult if not impossible. And these disabilities cut across
all population segments including males and females, the young and
old, blacks and whites, and, of course, pickup owners.
what options are out there for disabled truck owners when it comes
to purchasing or outfitting their vehicles?
to Gary Talbot, Engineering Manager for GM's Mobility Center, there
has never been a better time for those who are disabled to buy a
new pickup specially equipped to enhance their mobility. Talbot
knows this first hand. He was disabled from the waist down in a
car accident nearly 20 years ago.
drives a Chevrolet S-10 Xtreme 'upfitted' with a special lift located
behind the truck's third door to accommodate his wheelchair. He
also leads GM's efforts to develop new ways of accommodating the
disabled in General Motor's cars and trucks.
general, because of the difficulty many have finding full-employment,
the disabled tend to have lower incomes than those who are able
bodied. This affects what kind of vehicle they can buy or how well
it might be equipped to fit their needs.
along with Ford, DaimlerChrysler and Toyota, helps solve upfitting
cost issues by refunding the first $1000 of mobility equipment purchased
by new pickup buyers. The only stipulation is that the equipment
comes from a certified list of vendors, but the catalog includes
everything from hand controls to left foot throttles to power tops.
Anything over the $1000 ceiling can be financed with the rest of
the truck, or separately, depending on the truck manufacturer's
when GM recently had 0% financing, those who bought mobility equipment
could have also financed the extra cost with no interest for the
length of the vehicle's loan. The equipment is also covered under
the same warranty as the vehicle. Ford Credit allows new buyers
to finance their mobility equipment purchases for up to 9 years.
says that since the start of its mobility program, in the early
1990s, GM has reimbursed a total of approximately $50M worth of
adaptive equipment. Some 10,000 GM cars and trucks are sold each
year to disabled buyers.
Mobility Motoring's Program Manager, Phil Lang, reports that for
the 2001 model year Ford sold approximately 8,000 upfitted vehicles
across its lineup. Just over 500 of those cars and trucks were Ford
F-series pickups plus another 200 Rangers.
also reports that the dollars spent upfitting pickups with mobility
equipment tends to be less overall relative to the money spent on
other vehicles, like full-size vans and minivans.
most popular items chosen for Ford pickups, especially extended
cab models, are wheelchair lifts located just behind the driver
and passenger seats.
disabled owners sell or end the lease on their pickup they can usually
take their equipment with them to the next vehicle, saving money
over the long term.
equipment for pickups is designed using a three tiered approach.
The first design tier encompasses mobility benefits for everyone
driving or riding in the vehicle, such as the door openings, instrument
panel and seating. The next tier is transparent but benefits those
with special needs. It covers items like large radio knobs to accommodate
a person with arthritis or running boards to help get into a truck.
The third tier requires replacement of OEM parts or the addition
of third party mobility accessories and specifically tailors the
truck to help a person overcome a disability. This might include
installing a powered boom to raise a wheelchair into the bed or
replacing a factory seat with one that remotely folds out, aiding
ingress and egress into the truck.
Customers must purchase or lease an eligible new and unused 2000,
2001 or 2002 model year GM passenger car, van or truck through an
authorized GM dealer. Adaptations must be completed within six months
from the date of vehicle delivery and the claim processed within
90 days from the date of conversion.
will reimburse up to $1,000 toward the actual cost of eligible aftermarket
adaptive equipment for drivers or passengers when installed (or
reinstalled) on any eligible purchased or leased* new GM car, van
or truck. Adaptations include equipment such as hand controls, wheelchair
or scooter lifting devices and low effort steering. A complete listing
of eligible and non-eligible equipment is included in the free resource
packet provided by the GM Mobility Assistance Center
* Must have lessor's written authorization.
GM Mobility Reimbursement incentive may be combined with other publicly
offered incentive programs that are in effect at the time of purchase
or lease including most fleet and commercial incentives.
The Ford Mobility Motoring Program provides up to $1,000 cash assistance
toward the exact cost of adding adaptive equipment to a new Ford,
Lincoln or Mercury car, van or light truck and up to $200 on alerting
devices. That means, if the cost of adding adaptive equipment is
less than $1,000, or less than $200 on an alerting device, your
cash assistance will be for the exact amount of the adaptive equipment
or alerting device installation. If the cost of adding adaptive
equipment is $1,000 or more, or $200 or more for an alerting device,
the Mobility Motoring Program will pay the maximum of $1,000 on
adaptive equipment and a maximum of $200 on an alerting device to
help defray your cost.
Mobility Motoring Cash Assistance may be combined with all other
publicly offered incentive programs in effect at the time of purchase
or lease. Vehicles receiving a fleet incentive or government concession,
however, do not qualify.
Provides cash reimbursement of up to $1,000 of the cost of qualifying
aftermarket adaptive equipment, for drivers and/or passengers, when
installed on any eligible purchased or leased* new 2001, 2002, or
2003 Toyota vehicle. Refer to Assistance Guidelines and Reimbursement
Application Forms available from your local Toyota dealer or from
any adaptive equipment installer.
*subject to written lessor approval
is available through Toyota Financial Services and participating
Toyota dealers upon credit approval. It provides flexible, extended-term
financing for persons with physical disabilities, or their families,
for purchasing a new Toyota vehicle with the installed adaptive
equipment (including installation costs). Please contact your local
participating Toyota dealer for details.
contact the manufacturers listed above for specific program details