Friday, 14 April 2017

Permobil Unreliability

The Permobil's motor has yet again inexplicably stopped running again - twice in recent weeks.

I currently find myself in transition, moving between two homes.  I have left the Permobil at one residence and have the Quantum at the other.  With the new battery installed in the old hand-me-down Quantum, I've been using it heavily without any problems.  On the other hand, the Permobil has again, on two occasions, had a motor stop running causing the one functioning motor to turn the chair in circles -pivoting around the non-functioning tire.

There is no "computer" read-out on the joy-stick LED's.  (Pattern of flashing of the Light Emitting Diodes (LED) suppose to be diagnostic of powerchair problems).  The motor just fails!  Every time now the motor fails when beginning to reverse from a full stop -it fails in reverse!  The Permobil was on a flat indoor surface on each occasion -several times on a low pyle carpet and this last time on a linoleum tiled floor.

Permobil failed to acknowledge that I have a problem with this powerchair.  They need a code to diagnose the problem and there is no code displayed.  Both motors have failed and been replaced, one twice!  The on-board power computer has also been replaced and the problem has not been solved.  Permobil's suggestion was that I buy yet another motor at $945.54 Cnd (installation extra). They only offer a 90 day warranty on the motors showing how little faith they have in their own product.

My wheelchair technician discovered that if you unplug the motor from the molex (?) connector and then reconnect it, the motor appears to reset itself and operate again until it once again fails in hours or days or weeks.  This procedure involves having someone remove the rear plastic housing, then get down to floor level to find the connector plugs.  Chose the one leading to the motor in question - unplug it and re-plug it.  My technician discovered this -Permobil has no clue and no desire to troubleshoot -only to keep selling me more motors.

My lack of confidence in this piece of Permobil junk persists -having had replace almost every part of the chair and some parts twice.  I will no longer take this chair outdoors as it may fail where nobody is willing to get down on their hands and knees to follow my instructions and get me running again.

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