For the fourth time this year my Permobil M300 is again in the repair shop, inoperable!..
Just before New Years of 2016, my Permobil's right motor died and had to be replaced. It was finally replaced in January at the cost of $1137.99 Cnd.
Two weeks after my right motor was replaced, my Permobil's left motor died and had to be replaced at the cost of another $1137.99 Cnd.
In late March the Electronic Power Unit which controls the motors failed and had to be replaced at a cost of $650.00 Cnd.
On each occasion the chair had to be taken to the shop for diagnosis and repair leaving me dependent on my manual wheelchair. On each occasion the chair remained in the shop between one to two weeks waiting for parts to be shipped from Permobil's U.S. regional supplier in Tennessee. When shipping the replacement Power Control Unit, the customs declaration papers were not filled out properly by Permobil U.S. and the part was returned to the company further delaying my repair. It appears that Permobil has only one small office in Aurora Ontario which attempts to serve the entire country. From my experience, it appears as if they are solely a sales office and stock no replacement parts.
So now, in the first week of June, 2016, my Permobil powerchair once again lost power on one side, allowing the chair to struggle while only turning circles. I pull up to my desk and work for a while, then when I go to back up, I don't go straight, but turn. Again, one motor is working while the other struggles.
The repair person comes to my home and disassembles the chair. Is it the new motor that is bad? Does the electronic brake not release? Is the new Electronic Power Control Unit that is bad? And the repair person notices an additional power control unit which is generally only added when the chair has a secondary motor such as a tilting seat. This chair has never had one, leaving him confused. Of to the shop it goes.
Now, after 1 full week has passed I call my repair shop and am informed that a Permobil representative will be coming down to have a look at my Permobil M300 and that they hope to have more information for me on Monday, June 20th.
So, yet another sunny summer weekend about to start which I will spend indoors as my patio doors to my backyard deck are barely wide enough for my power chair to squeeze through. My manual chair has canted (angled) wheels making the chair too wide to get through this newly renovated exit.
In summary, it appears as if my Wheelchair Repair Shop is baffled by the cause of my latest breakdown. I continue to have utmost confidence in Motion Specialties as they have always responded to my problems quickly and professionally. The same cannot be said about my Permobil M300 wheelchair or my experience with their salesperson.
I am hoping it is a problem with one of the recently replaced components as they should be under some sort of warranty after only months of use. I do not need another expense!! Everything has bee replaced on this Permobil M300 except for the Joystick, frame and 3 of 4 castor wheels.
If the malfunctioning part is under warranty, I suspect I still have to pay for the service call as it is not Motion Specialties fault that I own a piece of Permobil junk that fails monthly!
Since January, 5 1/2 months have passed. In that time I have had to spend $3250.00 Cnd on repairing the Permobil M300 powerchair and of those 5 1/2 months, the Permobil has been in the repair shop for over 1 month waiting for parts to be shipped from the United States.
Since my retirement last fall, this chair has been used exclusively indoors between 3 rooms! Hardly strenuous terrain!
Stay tuned: Updates to follow.