Saturday, 24 September 2016

Permobil Broken Again!

Permobil Thinks I Have Money To Burn!! 
Well, I spoke too soon!  Do you believe in a jinx?  Did I jinx my chair by noticing it was still running?  I started my previous post on September 21st by saying my Permobil M300 was still running after both Right and Left Motors were replaced earlier this year and the Left motor was replaced twice.  That's right - three new motors since January of this year.

This evening my chair again stopped working in an identical manner as last time.  I try to back up from my work desk and the wheelchair feels like it is struggling - like something is caught in one wheel binding them up.  The chair will not back-up straight, but turns, and turns sluggishly.  One motor is not engaged (left I think) or perhaps does not receive full power.  As a result the working motor pivots (pushes) the chair around the non-powered tire.

I disengaged the motors (manual mode), then re-engaged them hoping that resetting them cure the problem. Nope!  There are no indicator lights on the joystick flashing error codes.  One motor is either damaged (unlikely as this is the second replacement).  At the end of last year the control module died requiring its replacement.  Could it be that the new, replaced controller unit has a fault that shows up periodically?  Is there a power distribution problem in the Joystick itself?  Where can this problem lie?

One of the motors failed just past three months after it was installed.  Three months is the length of Warranty Permobil offers on their fine product.  If not for the persistence, and insistence of my repair shop supervisor, I would have had to fork out another $945.54 Cnd.  Now it appears as if the same motor has failed yet again.  It was installed on August 6th of this year so it appears to have broken after about six weeks of operation.  Will my repair shop supervisor have to fight to get this motor exchanged for yet another (3rd), if it is indeed the problem.

I can stand up.  Permobil knows I can as their sales person had the fold-up foot rest made specifically to fold beneath the chair, clear of my legs.  On standing, I brace against the chair and the motor brakes keep this chair from rolling back under my pressure.  Could that be damaging some component, perhaps the motor brake?  I stood with my old Quantum without any problem.  Permobil's sales person was eager to sell me this chair - so eager they outright lied to me on another issue.  Could it be that this chair's motor brakes are not strong enough to brace me and become damaged.  Why would someone sell me a chair that is not suitable for my needs if this is the case?  Pure greed, I imagine.

So, I am in my manual chair until I can call the service department Monday morning.  After that, it depends on whether they can diagnose the problem, talk Permobil U.S. into a replacement motor for the replacement motor for the replacement motor - if that is indeed the problem.

Last time my Repair shop supervisor spoke with Permobil U.S. it sounded like some Abbot & Costello routine where Permobil U.S. asks what code was showing and my service person says there was no code, where Permobil U.S.responds that they can't tell my service person what the problem was without a code where my service person points out that if he had a code he would know what the problem was and wouldn't be calling!

This Permobil powerchair has not left the house since the last motor was installed.  It travels between three rooms -four if you count the washroom.  Every part except for the steel tubing frame has broken and or been repaired/replaced.  Repairs have cost more than I paid for the chair in the first place.  I feel that Permobil owes me a grovelling apology and a brand new replacement chair.  Another chair manufactured by anyone but Permobil.  They think I have money to burn!!!

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