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Elon Musk: Tesla to install power trunk for free after plea from wheelchair user

Tesla is now going to install a power trunk for free for wheelchair users who own Model 3 cars after one of them made a sensible plea for it with CEO Elon Musk on Twitter.

Musk often takes feedback from Tesla owners and prospective buyers on Twitter.

Tesla even has employees survey Twitter to find inquiries to bring to Musk’s attention.

Today, there was a very interesting and touching one that might lead to a new feature for the automaker.

A Tesla Model 3 reservation holder who has suffered a spinal injury rendering him wheelchair-bound before he could ever take delivery of his new Tesla sent some feedback to make Tesla’s vehicles more wheelchair friendly.

The Tesla fan eventually relearn to drive with his disability and decided to buy his dream car, a Tesla Model 3, after putting his dream on hold.

One of the requests was to have a power liftgate for the Model 3’s trunk:

“I also expect someone to leave a message to Musk and suggest to install power liftgate for front and back trunk. I am always unable to close the trunk by myself because of my disability. Or, maybe release an open protocol to grant thrid party installation on the power liftgate with the restriction that does not affect warranty.”

Musk responded on Twitter that Tesla would install a power liftgate for free:

Unlike all of its other vehicles, the Model 3 is not offered with a powered trunk opening.

However, several third-party accessory makers have been offering power liftgate kits for the Model 3 for around $400.

Since Tesla plans to offer the upgrade for free for wheelchair users and currently doesn’t have an option even for a charge, the automaker could opt to add it as an option for other owners.

Interestingly, the new Model 3 owner also praised Tesla’s Smart Summon feature as extremely useful for wheelchair users.

We previously reported on an interesting video by a Model X owner showing just how useful Tesla Smart Summon is for wheelchair users.

The Model 3 owner asked for Tesla to move the feature into the basic Autopilot so that buyers don’t have to purchase Tesla’s $8,000 ‘Full Self-Driving’ package to have access to the feature.

Electrek’s Take

Good on Tesla for making it free to wheelchair owners, but selfishly, I am interested in how Tesla plans to offer that product since they currently don’t have it.

To me, it sounds like if they are to develop the feature for wheelchair users, they might as well make it available as an aftermarket option offered through its service centers for everyone?

As for the Smart Summon, I doubt that Tesla will move it to standard Autopilot. It would significantly reduce the value of the FSD package.

However, I could see Tesla eventually offering the feature separately as an over-the-air software upgrade for people who didn’t order FSD.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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