Lexus made an LX ride-on for a child with cerebral palsy

March 9th, 2020 by

Ride-on vehicles, or Power Wheels as many know them, are a perfect way for young children to experience driving and cars for the first time. Unfortunately, certain congenital disorders can prevent some children from having that from experience. Lexus, in collaboration with Givewith and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF), wanted to help reduce the barrier of access to fun mobility, and has created an LX ride-on specifically customized for a girl with cerebral palsy.

Six-year-old Finley Smallwood has the most common motor disorder that affects children, cerebral palsy. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is “a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.” Because of this, she is unable to use ride-on vehicles the way they are currently built. Lexus was inspired by Finley to design and develop solutions that could get here into a car.

The ride-on, which has the looks of a topless LX SUV, has several custom features. Finley has a tough time sitting for a long time, so Lexus added waist-high side padding and modified the seat. The LX ride-on also has an adjustable headrest, and a five-point harness to keep the driver safe, stable, and secure. Ingress and egress on current ride-ons can also be difficult, so Lexus lowered the vehicle and increased the size of the doors.

The largest change is the method of control. Because some children with cerebral palsy might not be able to use a foot pedal or have the strength to use a steering wheel, this ride-on doesn’t have either. Instead, Lexus configured an armrest joystick to control the vehicle’s direction and acceleration.

Lexus delivered the LX to Finley in March, which is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. For a video profile of Finley and a behind-the-scenes look at the vehicle’s development, visit Givewith.com.