Economical (K0010) Power Wheelchairs Have Poor Reliability and Important Safety Problems: An ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standards Comparison Study

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Jon Pearlman MSc, Rory A. Cooper PhD, Jaideep Karnawat, Rosemarie Cooper MPT, ATP, Michael Boninger MD


An important issue regarding ANSI/RESNA standards is that independent testing is not required for a wheelchair to be submitted for FDA approval. This independent testing can be most important with regard to the economical wheelchairs, where manufacturers may produce sub-standard products to save costs. Our laboratories have found this to be the case in manual wheelchairs (K0001) and undertook this study to test economical power wheelchairs (K0010). Of the 12 K0010 wheelchairs we tested (3 each of four models: Pride Mobility Jet 10, Invacare M50, Golden Technologies Alante` GP-201-F, and Electric Mobility Rascal 250PC) only 3 passed the ANSI/RESNA durability tests (section 8). Furthermore, design features of some of these wheelchairs made them dynamically unstable (pride mobility), and prone to wiring failures if stalled against an obstacle (electric mobility).

Keywords: ANSI/RESNA standards, power wheelchair, K0010