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Many disabled vehicles are fitted with an array of special equipment to enable access to and from the vehicle. This includes ramps, winches, electric tailgate, and lifting devices. All these devices are fitted by a specialist disabled vehicle company. Many cases we have been contacted by owners of disabled vehicles when they have had problems with their access equipment.
These owners first port of call has usually been to the original vehicle supplier or the company who modified their vehicle originally. The vehicle supplier if still around, is not interested in carrying out repairs. The usual reply is “that model is now out of date there are no parts available, but I can supply you a new vehicle” Or “ if you bring it to our workshop 100’s of miles away and leave it with us for a couple of weeks. We may be able to have a look at it. 

There seems to be an attitude by companies dealing with Disabled vehicles and mobility scooters. They know you’re stuck without the vehicle, so if they offer you a poor or difficult repair, They hope you will take the easy option of purchasing a new vehicle from them.

 

Customer “A”


Whilst using her mobility scooter when out shopping, she left it outside a shop, taking the keys with her.  Vandals stole her scooter by forcing a screwdriver into the ignition lock. The scooter was recovered by the police a few hours later. The only damage done was the ignition switch and some broken Fibreglass around the ignition switch. She returned the vehicle to the suppliers. A week later she was informed the vehicle was un repairable as that fibreglass unit was no longer manufactured. She was also informed they could supply her a new scooter for £2500 . We were asked to see if we could sort it. A new ignition switch was obtained for £23 and an hour’s work with a fibreglass repair kit the scooter was up and running. Price to the customer £150.

 

 

 

 

Customer “B”


Has a Renault Kango van with a drop floor and a rear access ramp which are all controlled by a remote fob. One morning he noticed a smell of burning when operating the access system then suddenly it all stopped working.  The customer spent 2 weeks ringing around various disabled vehicle specialist trying to get help. The usual reply was I’m sorry sir that model is not built anymore, but we do have many similar vehicles in stock.  In desperation he contacted us for advice. An initial visit discovered that the original control system had fried itself and was un repairable. Enquiries by us revealed there was no system available off the shelf to replace his control system. We decided we would build a new control system from scratch. A week later we fitted our new remote control system. On testing the customer was most impressed it was much simpler to operate with only one button to open and one to close. Total price £400. Much cheaper than a replacement vehicle.


Customer “C”


Has a wheel chair lift to lift her disabled son into the passenger seat of her Ford Focus. The wheelchair lift is operated by a three push button control unit on a flexible cable.  The customer managed to slam the control unit in the door smashing it.
A call to the company that manufactured the access system, she was told the part was specially made for that vehicle it would be £800 for the control, she would have to get the vehicle to them in Birmingham and leave it with them. When she asked if there was any possibility someone could come to her in Worthing and repair it, she was informed yes they could but it would cost another £800.
We were called in desperation by the customer. We arrived same day, temporarily stuck the old damaged control back together so it could be used, We then ordered new parts from a local supplier, and built a new control, a week later returned refitted new control.
Our charges £60 for new parts and £120 labour.  Job done for less than £200.

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