Consumer Product Safety

Accident Information Special News 23

October 9, 1998

Trial Purchase Test Results of Electric Wheelchair

Receiving the results of the trial purchase test of the electric wheelchair performed by the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation, in October 9, 1998, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry released their contents.

1. Purpose of Trial Purchase Test

The electric wheelchair (Including a tricycle type. Same in the follows.) as welfare equipment is used for persons who are physically disabled such as the elderly and the handicapped so that its safety, convenience, and amenity are especially highly required.
It is especially important for them to safely use the electric wheelchairs as parts of their bodies. However, recently, there were not a few that information having occurred accidents in using the electric wheelchair was reported to us, for example, malfunctions such as suddenly stopping the running and increasing the running speed, and injured cases by detachment of the backrest.
Based on the accident information and from the viewpoint of the marketing research for preventing the accident from reoccurring and the product safety, the competent Ministry purchased almost all electric wheelchairs distributed on the market in November 1997, confirmed the general performances of them based on the Japan Industrial Standard (JIS) and their electromagnetic compatibility in compliance with the standards (draft) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and performed tests for investigating whether the wheelchairs were affected or non-affected by radio waves from radio equipment such as radios for the radio amateur and portable telephones, which are generally used by the consumer.

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2. Tested Articles

The tested articles in this time are the following 13 brands describing in the next table.

Tested Articles
Sample
No.
Operation
System
Manufacture
and
Trade Names
Model Number Dimension mm
Full length x full width x full height
Weight kg
kg
Maximum
speed
km/h
1 Operation lever type SUZUKI Motor Corporation
SUZUKI Motor Chair
MC15S 1.045 x 600 x 905 76 4.5
2 IMASEN Engineering Corporation
Super Chair
EMC-101 1.070 x 600 x 900 83 6
3 Unicum Co., Ltd.
Slash FX
- 1.060 x 690 x 950 87 6
4 YAMAHA MOTOR CO., LTD
JW-1B
- - - 4
5 SHOWA BOEKI Co., Ltd.
Action Power 9000
- - - 6
6 Handle type Fukushin Electric Co., Ltd.
Super Porcar
SPX-1000 1.160 x 670 x 980 76 6
7 SUZUKI Motor Corporation
SUZUKI Senior Car
ET-3A 1.165 x 700 x 910 82 6
8 KUBOTA Corporation
Racooter
ED-37 1.190 x 690 x 965 86 6
9 ATEX Co., Ltd.
My Pear
BT90AB 1.195 x 630 x 1,013 96 6
10 SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
My Shuttle
EWC-35V 1.190 x 680 x 960 83 6
11 KYOKUTO KAIHATSU KOGYO CO., LTD.
Sokai
235Œ^ 1.105 x 630 x 990 73 6
12 Santoku Shoji Co., Ltd.
Noriyasu-kun
LINE3GLS 1.150 x 610 x 985 77 6
13 Serio Co., Ltd.
Yuho UFO
TE-778 1.170 x 670 x 977 75 6
  1. (Note 1)The weight includes the weight of batteries. "-" means no description.
  2. (Note 2)The operation lever type means a four-wheel vehicle steered and speed-controlled by the operation of joystick lever.
  3. (Note 3)The handle type means a three-wheel vehicle steered by a handle and speed-controlled by the lever.

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3. Test Results

The rest results are as the next table.

Test Results
Items Performances Data No.
Outdoor Use Combined Use Outdoor Use
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Maximum speed Combined type
for outdoor and indoor use
4.5 km/h or less - - - - - - - - - - -
Outdoor type 6.0 km/h or less - -
Climb force Capable of straightly climbing a slope of 10 degrees
Brake Performances Combined type
for indoor and outdoor use
Capable of stopping within 1m on a flat road. - - - - - - - - - - -
Capable of stopping within 3m in climbing a slope of 10 degrees
Outdoor type Capable of stopping within 1.5m on a flat road and within 3m in climbing a slope of 10 degrees. Displacement from the stop reference line should be within 0.5m. - -
Standstill force Capable of being standstill on a slope of 10 degrees
Inclination stability To be stable on the inclination to the frontward and rearward 20 degrees respectively and to the side 15 degrees.
Step Climbing-over Combined type
for indoor and outdoor use
Capable of climbing over a step of 25mm - - - - - - - - - - -
Outdoor type Capable of climbing over a step of 40mm - -
Groove traveling-over performance Capable of traveling over a groove of 100mm in the width
Slope traveling performance Climbing an S-shaped road with a slope 6 degrees without any trouble
Slope straight traveling performance Capable of traveling path with a slope 3 degrees and width 1.2m in parallel to the contour line without any deviation therefrom.
Rotating performance Combined type
for indoor and outdoor use
Capable of turning a straight path of 0.9m in the width - - - - - - - - - - -
Outdoor type Capable of turning a straight path of 1.2m in the width - -
Forced stop No abnormality in the car body, the driving system, and the electric circuit.
Vertical static load Displacement between left and right sheet frames 20mm or less
Permanent strain between left and right sheet frames 3mm or less
Displacement of distance between rim inner face and arm pipe outer face 5mm or less
Deflection of seat 100mm or less
Temperature rising Temperature rising in rated operation and charging shall be a value or less shown in Separate Table 1 *1
Insulation resistance Insulation resistance before/after temperature rising shall be 2Mohm or more
Injection insulation resistance Insulation resistance measured after injecting water for one hour and still continuing the injection shall be 1Mohm or more
Reflectivity of rear reflector Shall be a value or more shown in Separate Table 2. - - - - -
Intensity of alarm sound Shall be from 75 to 95dB - - - - -
Operation force and angle of operation lever Operation force and angle shall be measured.
Comparison traveling on flat road and slope Speed in traveling on a flat road and a slope shall be compared. *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2 *2
Dimension The maximum value of the respective dimensions are full height 1.090mm, full length 1.200mm, and full width 700mm or less.
External appearance No deformation, crack, acute projection and edge.
Electrostatic discharge immunity Confirming the operation after applying contact discharge to conductive parts and applying atmospheric discharge to non-conductive parts.
Confirming the operation after electrifying the frame and then quickly discharging it.
Radiation immunity When receiving a field strength 20 V/m by radio wave of 80 MHz - 1 GHz, the speed change and speed difference of differential wheel shall be 20% or less and 25% or less respectively.
Effects of amateur radio, etc. In stopping Examining their conditions, when amateur radio (50 - 1200MHz) and a portable telephone are used by changing the distance from the contact state with the surface of the wheelchair to 15cm separated therefrom.
In traveling
Labeling Displaying marks such as manufacturer, type, rated voltage, and type and volume of battery on the body in a place easy to see.
Instruction manual Shall describe 12 items such as the names of respective parts, maintenance and inspection, and how to operate.

"○" expresses affirmative,"●" expresses negative, and "-" means no correspondence.

*1:
The coil temperature exceeds the temperature limit of Type E insulation.(Refer toSeparate Table 1)
*2:
Practical values are based on the report.
Separate Table 1Temperature Rise Limit
Measured parts Degree
1 Coil Made of type A insulation 100
Made of type E insulation 115
2 Rectification body Made of silicon 135
3 Branch point of power cable 90
4 Handle for carrying
(excluding those operated by a person in using.)
Made of metal, pottery, and glass 65
Others 80
5 Handle to be operated by a person in using Made of metal, pottery, and glass 55
Others 70
6 Knob and push button for switch, etc. Made of metal, pottery, and glass 60
Others 75
7 Outer hull Used being touched by person Made of metal, pottery, and glass 55
Others 70
Possibility of being easily touched by person Made of metal, pottery, and glass 85
Others 100
No possibility of being easily touched by person 100
8 Surface of wooden base on which test piece is placed 95

The reference ambient temperature shall be set to 30 degrees

Separate Table 2Reflection Light Intensity
Observation angle
(degree)
Incident angle
(degree)
Reference value
(cc/10.76 lx)
0.2 0 6.73
top10 4.44
bottom10 4.44
top20 2.29
bottom20 2.29
top30 2.02
bottom30 2.02
top40 1.75
bottom40 1.75
top50 1.48
bottom50 1.48
1.5 0 0.07
top10 0.05
bottom10 0.05
top20 0.03
bottom20 0.03
top30 0.03
bottom30 0.03
top40 0.03
bottom40 0.03
top50 0.03
bottom50 0.03

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4. Measures Taken by Ministry of International Trade and Industry

Based on the test results and from the viewpoint of the further improvement of the quality and safety, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry requests the appropriate manufacturers to take actions for the improvement on the brands found to be nonconforming to the standards and references.
There were 11 brands found to be nonconformity by the immunity test related to the malfunction of electric wheelchairs in driving and the effect test of the radio, which are important from the viewpoint of securing the safety of the user, and it was also reported that all of the manufacturers have already examined the actions and most of the manufacturers called attention to the users and took actions such as improvement of the device.
In future, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry will grasp the progressing situation of the improvement actions for the nonconformity.

Contact us

 Risk Analysis and Public Relations Division  Product Safety Technology Center  National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Phone number:+81-6-6612-2066
Fax number:+81-6-6612-1617
Address:1-22-16, Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 559-0034 Japan MAP