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Conversion Vans With Ricon Wheelchair Lifts Recalled

May 19, 2010

WASHINGTON - Mobility Works is recalling certain MY 2008 and 2009 conversion vans built on Ford E150, E250 and E350 chassis and Chevrolet 2500 chassis and fitted with certain Ricon S series and K series L-Model wheelchair lifts. 

There is a problem in the software that controls the lift's "up" function. If the "up" button is released before the floor level limit switch is activated, the lift may continue its upward movement and overrun the floor level cut-off point, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When the platform overruns the vehicle floor level and stops at an angle from 15 to 20 degrees, it's possible for a person in a wheelchair to tip over or for someone standing on the platform to stumble and fall. 

In short, the problem poses a general injury risk for passengers in the van. 

Mobility Works will notify owners, and repairs will be performed by authorized Ricon dealers free of charge. A software solution is now under investigation. Until that is available, Ricon will provide owners with a bulletin outlining proper wheelchair lift operation and will ship owners a DVD-based training aid to promote proper lift operation at no cost. 

In a separate recall, also involving MY 2008 and 2009 conversion vans built on Ford E150, E250 and E350 chassis, Mobility Works will address a problem with the restraint belts on Ricon public use lifts. 

The restraint belt on these lifts was designed to prevent the lift from moving, unless the tongue of the belt is fully engaged and latched in the buckle. Ricon has discovered, however, that it's possible for the operator to insert the belt tongue into the buckle without fully engaging the latching mechanism. In this case, the restraint belt would appear to be latched and the operator could run the lift. If the restraint belt tongue is not fully engaged into the restraint belt buckle and latched, the lift may operate with an occupant on the platform. This poses a safety risk if the lift moves without the restraint belt properly buckled. 

Mobility Works is collaborating with Ricon to resolve the problem. Ricon will be performing the remedy for this safety recall campaign. 

Both recalls begin this month. Owners can reach Ricon at (818) 267-3000 or Mobility Works at (800) 769-8267.

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