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AVIS INTRODUCES NEW, PORTABLE HAND CONTROLS FOR INCREASED FLEXIBILITY AND CONVENIENCE FOR DISABLED DRIVERS

 GARDEN CITY, N.Y., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to further enhance car rental convenience and variety for disabled drivers, Avis Rent A Car System, Inc. announced the introduction in its fleet of a newly patented hand control device.
 "The new design is easy to operate, and can fit in a wide variety of makes and models, giving renters more options," said Robert Salerno, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. rent a car at Avis. "Prior to the development of this device, the available hand control systems could only be installed in a limited number of models. We have listened to our customers input about the need for greater flexibility, and opted for the new hand-control system as soon as it was available."
 Called Automaster, the control connects easily on the car accelerator pedal and brake arm and is tightened by turning two threaded wheels. The hand control lever is adaptable to the left or right handed driver. Pulling the lever one way lets up on the brake and depresses the accelerator. Pushing the lever releases the accelerator and applies the brake. It is airbag compatible and needs no modification for left or right hand use.
 The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved its use.
 "I know from long personal experience with automobile hand controls how important it is that they be safe, easy to install and easy to use," Alan A. Reich, president of the National Organization on Disability, said. "I commend Avis for their commitment to quality service for customers with disabilities."
 Automaster was designed and patented by Team Manufacturing, Inc., of Augusta, Ga. It is the result of a conversation between John Masters of Team and a disabled architect friend, and frequent traveler, who complained about the cumbersome devices currently available.
 Masters and his partner, Randolph Harod, worked out a new control design with the architect that can be used in any type of automobile without having to fasten the device to the steering post or floor of the vehicle, which is the case in other designs. Previous designs were restricted to a few models and are complicated to install.
 AUTOMASTER is portable and takes fewer than 10 minutes to install and only about two minutes to remove, the manufacturers said.
 "This is also an operational plus for Avis," said Salerno. "Previous systems were complicated and time consuming to install -- the ease of installation contributes to our internal efficiency, freeing us up to focus additional time on other customer service measures."
 Avis is making the new device available at its rental locations system wide. Renters are asked to reserve them 24 hours in advance.
 Avis also has a toll-free number to assist the hearing and speech impaired renters who call 1-800-321-2323. For the visually impaired, Avis accepts a duly licensed additional driver to accommodate their needs.
 -0- 4/7/93
 /CONTACT: Raymond Noble of Avis, Inc., 516-222-4719/


CO: Avis, Inc. ST: New York IN: LEI SU: PDT

AH-OS -- NY048 -- 3853 04/07/93 15:17 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 7, 1993
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