FAQ

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What is the process for purchasing a van/product?

The purchase of a modified vehicle may be dictated by functional requirements, financial requirements or personal preference. Ignoring and not addressing important questions and considerations with us prior to your purchase carries the risk of spending money and purchasing something that does not meet your needs, or has to be modified. Some questions include, How do I plan to use my vehicle? Are my physical condition and abilities changing? Will I be an independent driver or an assisted passenger? The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends a five-step process that includes evaluating your needs with a qualified driver rehabilitation specialist, selecting the right vehicle, choosing a qualified dealer, being trained and maintaining your vehicle. Visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for more information. In addition we can use our experience, spanning nearly four decades to get you started with general information.

What kind of vans do you convert?

For Minivans, we convert the Honda Odyssey, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country. For full size vans, we convert the Ford E150, E250 and E350. We convert 2008 and newer Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country minivans and 2006 and newer Honda Odyssey. Dodge and Chrysler minivans with between 35,000 miles and 50,000 miles will have an additional conversion charge. We do not accept vans with over 50,000 miles. We also convert the Chevy MC and Sprinter units. Contact us for details of what is available on each make and model as manufacturers both OEM and Adaptive bring new products out.

How long does it take to get a van?

If you purchase a van that has already been converted the average delivery time is 2-4 weeks. If a van is sent to the factory for conversion, the average delivery is 6-8 weeks.

Do you have vans in inventory already converted?

Yes we do. We have a variety of vans in stock both new and used. Contact us for details.

What is the warranty on a van conversion/product?

Usually the warranty of our Full size vans and Minivans is 3 year 36,000 miles on the converted equipment and 7 year 70,000 miles on the framework. The warranty of our interior mounted stowage lifts is 3 year parts, 30 days labor. The warranty of our exterior mounted stowage lifts is 1 year parts. Currently the warranty of our platform lifts is 5 year power train, 1 year labor.

Do you take vehicles in on trade/consignment?

Yes and a plan that works well is our consignment sales program. You get full retail – 10%. Call us and get the details. Also because we do not have flooring and other charges these vehicles are priced well below the retail market.

Can you convert the van I currently own?

We convert the 2008 and newer Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country vans that have limited mileage.

Can I buy directly through the manufacturer/ Why do I need to go through a dealer?

Direct sales from the manufacturers who do not have the support a dealer network is a big problem. Starting with DMV, continued through warranty and followup/ongoing service you can expect issues that make the cheaper deal not such a good value.

What is the price of a Minivan conversion?

Depending on the type of conversion and options prices will vary. To get exact pricing information, contact us.

What financing/funding assistance is available?

Funding and financing varies. We will know more about assistance and programs that apply to your situation if you contact us directly.

Do I buy the van first and then get it converted or can I buy the complete van with modification?

You can do either. We have a wide variety of vans already converted that you can purchase. We also convert some existing Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Honda Ex Model and above minivans depending on the year. Before you buy your own van always contact us first for purchase details.

What rebates and incentives are available?

Many vehicle manufacturers run rebate offers and mobility discounts. Contact us for details that may apply to you and your purchase.

Does the modification void the manufacturer’s warranty?

Not on the conversions we offer. Your manufacturer’s warranty remains unchanged. Our minivans have a 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty on the conversion, 7 year 70,000 warranty on the frame. Some other mobility dealers and adaptive manufacturers offer conversions not approved by the vehicle manufacturers. They attempt to bridge this risky gap with service contracts that may or may not be accepted when service and repairs are needed. Not having the vehicles manufacturers written approval is a huge financial risk.

How do I order conversion replacement parts for my van?

Due to agreements with our manufacturers. We do not sell parts.

Who do I call with technical questions or problems?

Always call us first. Even though we are not car mechanics we can help guide you, set up service and repair appointments, provide direct repairs/service, or provide your vehicle dealer with assistance. We get it! After all we were the ones who handed you your keys. Don’t do it alone – please contact us.

Can I drive from my chair or do I have to transfer?

You should first consult with your Physician, Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist with any driving questions. There is also a great Web site you can view for information on driving, which is the Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists. We can assist at no cost by using our four decades of experience, offering you very good general information to get you started and gain a good framework to interact with these professionals.

What lift works with my vehicle and scooter/wheelchair?

Our manufacturers have created a unique technical application that you can use to determine what will work for you. You can contact us with any questions regarding fit, function or pricing and we can assist you in using these sections on our websites.

On what type of vans can your VMI Ricon Lifts be in installed?

The VMI Ricon lifts can be installed on many Full Size vans, the most popular being the Ford E series, Chevy Express and GMC Savannah or the Sprinter Dodge van.

What is the weight capacity of the lifts?

The personal line of VMI Ricon lifts have a 600lb capacity. The commercial line of VMI Ricon lifts, which are ADA compliant have an 800lb capacity.

What accessories are available?

We offer a wide variety of accessories for our lifts and vans. Contact us for details.

Do you have extended service contracts available?

Yes! Extended service contracts are available on the conversion as well as on the vehicle. All our extended service contracts are accepted by the vehicle and adaptive manufacturers. Contact us for the various details.

Do you rent scooters and power chairs?

No, Mobility Systems does not rent scooter, wheelchairs or power chairs. Contact us and we would be happy to provide a referral to a local resource for scooter and power chair rentals.

Should I purchase a new or used mobility van or equipment?

It depends. You can frequently obtain a pre-owned accessible vehicle loaded with all the options you want, to meet your specific needs and budget. However let us assist you in your selection by contacting us first.

How do I schedule maintenance?

Preventive maintenance plays a crucial part in the continued trouble-free operation of your adaptive equipment. All maintenance checks and repairs need to be pre-scheduled in advance. A scheduled check-up should be completed every six months. Appointments are scheduled Monday through Saturday during normal business hours. Please call us toll free at 1-800-943-7333 or 510-540-0295 to schedule your next service appointment. On selected days and evenings we have a low cost pickup and delivery service available to our customers.

What do I do while I wait?

Our entire staff wants you to feel at ease while we complete the maintenance and servicing of your vehicle. We provide comfortable reception areas. Berkeley has many restaurants and entertainment venues and we are one block away from public transportation for installations or repairs that may take longer then usual.

What are my payment options?

We accept most major credit cards and personal checks to pay for your repairs. If you’re not sure about whether your particular credit card will be accepted, call us.

Can I get a scooter or wheelchair I bought somewhere else serviced with you folks?

You bet. If we don’t represent the brand you own call us and we’ll help you find a reputable dealer.

How do I go about finding out if I can drive from a wheelchair?

We can put you in touch with the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) who will in turn connect you with a local Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. These specialists can then give you guidance in the adaptive equipment you will need either as a driver or as a passenger. Click here to visit the ADED website. We also can give you some very valuable general information, so call us. You’ll gain a good framework from which to converse with these professionals.

How large of an area do you folks service?

We are focused entirely on the greater SF Bay area. The 510, 415, 650, 408, 925, 707, 831 and some 916 area codes.

How do I know you are a reputable dealer?

That’s a great question! We have been meeting the mobility needs of our community since 1979. We have been incorporated by California’s Secretary of State since 1983. After nearly four decades we still know not to take our reputation for granted. Sure we belong and are in good standing with our manufactures and the like. In the past we have even hosted service schools for various manufactures.

After many years of membership in N.M.E.D.A, the industry’s well meaning, standard setting and helpful organization, we have recently embarked on the challenging task of becoming both ASE and SAE certified. These two automotive industry titans will give our technicians the superior training and direct access to technical information needed to confidently address the many integrated facets involved in today’s adaptive/automotive service world. We are proud to be one of the first to brake with the comfort of tradition, challenge ourselves and provide a better overall service product.

We are for the most part doers – not joiners. There are literally hundreds of associations we could pay a fee to favorably list our services, or get into some network. We are rather content to utilize the old fashion method of customer referrals to drive the size of our business. We have found that lets us never be too busy to take care of you. We don’t as other businesses do, hid or drive the occasional bad internet posting behind countless pages of Mobility Systems business related hyperlinks. We let you see, both good and bad the itchy trigger finger of the internet at work. We are still here after nearly four decades refusing to take a cookie cutter approach to mobility issues, still using a team approach and all that nearly four decades have thought us, to uniquely problem solve each individual’s mobility needs.

Can I drive with a disability?

Driving with a disability is not impossible, in fact it doesn’t even have to be difficult. Over the last 20 years, handicap driving control technology has improved at a quick pace. The number one way the disabled community chooses to get around is an accessible wheelchair van. The amount of technology involved in these conversion handicap vehicles is truly astounding, and they allow those with disabilities the freedom to be altogether independent. Mobility ramps and lifts installed by professionals allow for total wheelchair access, and a set of mechanical or electric hand controls complete the driving experience. Less complicated devices such as spinner knobs, left foot throttles, gear extensions and lever cross overs are also available.

During the warranty period can I get my product purchased from Mobility Systems serviced at another dealer?

Yes, unlike other dealers Mobility Systems will provide another qualified dealer for your product the necessary documentation that limits their liability for servicing a product they did not personally sell. It’s the same documentation a dealer like Mobility Systems provides a manufacturer in order to represent their product. If they still give you a ‘hard time’ you may want to find a service facility without the attitude.

On a new van or used van with a new conversion my state considers the conversion a ‘durable medical good’ and it’s tax exempt. On a used converted mini van and used conversion I have been told that the value of the conversion and the van cannot be separated. Therefore I am told I have to pay sales tax on the entire purchase. Is that true?

NO it’s not, but check with your taxing authority. Let’s say you are paying $20,000 for a used van and used conversion (In other words something that has already been owned). If the van itself has a retail value of $10,000 and you could purchase others just like it, that is not converted for that amount then the value of the durable medical conversion must be 10,000. But check with your taxing authority before you or your accountant declare to see how they treat the purchase of a used durable medical equipment.

I am considering using an adaptive driving device, likely hand controls. I’ve been told that before I can have hand controls installed that I need to take driving lessons. I’ve been quoted as much as 150 dollars per hour and as many as twelve hours of instruction. Once I have these lessons apparently I will be certified for the DMV.

We cannot understate the value of taking driving lessons before you attempt using hand controls. Before you get behind the wheel by yourself you have to know – not think you can operate the vehicle safely. Much the same as if you never drove a stick shift and before you set out on the open road (which may not be so open if you mess up) thought you’d learn how to drive it as you go. Both the brain and body have to relearn.

In the non-commercial driving world the DMV informs us that there is no road exam certification pre-exam process in California for class c. No one other than DMV personnel is authorized by statue or regulation to exempt you or certify your skills for the driving test. In California you do need to inform DMV that you will be driving with adaptive devices and they alone conduct the certification process. In other states check with your appropriate state agency to learn the facts about driving with adaptive EQ. They can tell you for certain what adaptive devices require re-certification and explain the process.

The response you are getting hopefully is nothing more than a conservative safety business practice. Especially for first time adaptive drivers a qualified driving/equipment evaluation is extremely crucial.

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