72-year-old Sarasota man stuck at home waiting for handicap-accessible van repairs

8 On Your Side

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – A disabled Sarasota man is stuck at home because he can’t use his handicap-accessible van. 8 On Your Side is investigating the delay in car repairs.

“I suffer, I don’t go anywhere,” said Perry Braunstein.

Braunstein needs his wheelchair to get around his home. When it’s time to go out, the 72-year-old depends on his handicap-accessible van.

In recent weeks though, the van has just been sitting in the driveway. The motor that moves the ramp up and down is broken.

“The ramp smashes down now,” said Braunstein.

With a broken ramp motor, Braunstein can’t easily get in and out of his vehicle. He was upset and called 8 On Your Side.

“I can’t believe in this country of ours, you could have this one part, that’s unavailable,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.”

8 On Your Side went to the Sarasota location where Braunstein had purchased the van. That location has since been closed down.

Next, our crew stopped by the dealer’s Lakeland location.

Management from the Mobility Store says the manufacturer informed them the part was out of stock for three months.

Roberto Rosario is a technician at the store.

“We try to do as much as we can to contact the client and let them know what’s going on,” he said. “If we order a part, and they have a 60 or 90-day wait on the part, that’s what happens sometimes.”

8 On Your Side Investigates followed up with the manufacturer and supplier.

A spokeswoman from REVgroup sent us the following statement:

“We are aware of the situation and have been actively working with the supplier that manufactures the ramp motors to find a more acceptable solution. We have also investigated additional sources to expedite the delivery. We anticipate receipt of a number of these motors within the next 3-4 weeks. We fully understand the inconvenience to the customer, and are working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

8 On Your Side will followup with the organization within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, Braunstein was concerned about making it from his Sarasota County home to his doctor appointments in Manatee County.

“The problem is that SCAT will only go in Sarasota county,” said Braunstein. “I have to now go to a private transportation company at a cost of $100 round trip to go to an appointment.”

8 On Your Side Investigates spoke with a representative from the Sarasota County Area Transit.

If an individual qualifies for SCAT Plus, they can schedule to be dropped off in Manatee County for a doctor’s appointment.

8 On Your Side will continue to follow this story.

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