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Tesla Gave UK Owners This Clawed Backscratcher Instead of Right-Hand Drive

Who needs a steering wheel on the correct side when you have a grabbing stick?
Tesla Model S Plaid The Reacher Grabber Hero
via Tesla, Twitter

Earlier this year, Tesla axed the right-hand-drive Tesla Model S and X. The move greatly upset many overseas owners in the United Kingdom who have been waiting years for their Tesla order, leaving the only option as switching to a left-hand-drive car instead. There’s just one problem: The U.K.’s infrastructure isn’t built for LHD cars.

To solve this problem, Tesla came up with a fairly low-tech solution. New owners taking delivery of an LHD Model S or X in the U.K. are being supplied with “The Reacher”—Tesla’s version of a grabber stick meant to help owners reach things through the window where drivers of RHD cars are normally seated.

Tesla abandoned its plans to sell a RHD version of the Model S and X in the U.K. earlier this year. The news comes more than two years after Tesla refreshed both of its luxury offerings in the U.S. while U.K. owners who placed orders simply had to wait to take delivery of an aging platform. It also makes Tesla one of the only at-volume luxury manufacturers to not offer a RHD version of its cars in the UK market.

Those who had outstanding orders for either vehicle were notified in May of the cancellation. Following this change, Tesla has made LHD vehicles available as new inventory in the U.K., a move which did retain at least some buyers who sucked up the change in order to take delivery of their dream cars. And those who stuck with it were reportedly given “The Reacher” with their purchase.

Tesla owners and prospective buyers aren’t top thrilled with this new product either. Some are calling it “another slap in the face” while others straight up define it as “embarrassing.”

I’m going to be honest, this fix has me absolutely rolling. Tesla has a history of workarounds when it comes to vehicle production, and this bandaid is just the latest version of an after-sales fix. Only this time, instead of patching up cooling systems, replacing missing bolts, or warrantying cars for their steering wheels falling off) the workaround is a grabbing stick.

Driving a car with the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car eventually sucks. I’m not sure if you’ve ever driven one for an extended period of time, but the cool factor quickly wears off after you realize that everything you need to interact with requires you to completely reach over to the other side of the car.

Need a ticket for the parking garage? Stretch. Headed to the drive-thru for lunch? Stretch. Pulling up to the bank to deposit a check? Streeetch. The Reacher, however, will solve all of life’s problems when it comes to your brand-new $150,000 luxury performance sedan with the steering wheel on the wrong side.

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