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Power steering issues (or is it me)

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wheels496
wheels496 Community member Posts: 3 Courageous
edited June 2019 in Transport and travel
I am currently driving a wheelchair accessible Volkswagen Caddy. Once I'm in the car, I transfer to the driver seat.

I took delivery of the vehicle during April 2014 and have just recently extended the contract for 2 years. Although I was told I could change my mind at any point, now that I am out with the original 5 year contract.

I have cerebral palsy, 52 years old and I drive with a Lodgesons steering knob.

Although I believe I can still drive the vehicle safely, for the past few weeks/months I have been feeling that the steering is too heavy for me. It was serviced earlier this week and they could not find a problem with the power steering. I had the 2 front tyres changed today.

The change of tyres may have improved it slightly, but I still find the steering a bit heavier than I would like. It's only at slow speeds when I have to turn the steering wheel more than maybe 60-80°. I can still turn the steering wheel it is just more effort than I would like.

I telephoned Sirus automotive, who supplied the vehicle and they advised me to contact Motability who would arrange an assessment and determine how much lighter I need it. This seemed a good move, since I am very conscious that steering which was too light could be as bad if not a bigger problem.

Based on what Motability told me, on a Volkswagen Caddy, the steering can be lightened by up to 50% by effectively changing the software and this is reversible. Anything beyond that is a mechanical change and cannot be reversed.

Anyway, they advised me that another team will be in touch with me within the next couple of weeks to arrange an assessment. Within 30 minutes I received a text on my phone simply saying because I live in Scotland I needed to ask for a referral from my GP! No other information. Fortunately, I know where my nearest driving assessment centre is-about 50 miles away.

They have a standard car which has lightened power steering and I could try that. Not sure how much it would help in determining how much I need lightened. The other issue is that there is a 6 months waiting time for an appointment.

I was hoping that this would be a relatively simple process-I gather all the required information. Decide on my requirements and then, if necessary, choose between changing the power steering on my current car and going for a new vehicle and hoping I can get a decent contribution from access to work.

Anyway, apologies for this being so long. My questions……

Has anyone been in a similar situation?

Any advice?

Thanks

Comments

  • exdvr
    exdvr Community member Posts: 331 Pioneering
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    Hi @wheels496       That response from Motability really got my blood boiling.  Motability is a UK-wide organisation that in my humble opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the NHS whether in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK.  If you get the higher rate PIP paid by the DWP then any required repairs or modifications should be carried out with no problems.  I'd be looking to have a bl**dy good argument with whoever sent you that text.    Ok...rant over....good luck.

    Best wishes.

    DLTBGYD

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,386 Scope online community team
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    Hello @wheels496.
    I’m sorry no one has been able to answer your query so far, have you had any luck getting a GP referral?

    6 months wait for the driving assessment appointment seems quite excessive and must be really frustrating. 
    Community Manager
    Scope
  • wheels496
    wheels496 Community member Posts: 3 Courageous
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    My GP has made the referral but I have not heard anything yet. Based on a phone call I had with the assessment centre at the start of this, initially, they send you a questionnaire.

    If anything, the last week I have noticed the problem less. I still think there is an issue that I need to address long-term.

    Don't know how helpful it will be back but I am dragging myself down to the Motability show at the NEC in 3 weeks. It's worth a shot.

    Thanks
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,386 Scope online community team
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    Thanks for letting us know @wheels496. Hopefully you'll make some headway soon.
    Community Manager
    Scope
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