Handicap van breaks down within days of purchase

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Warwick man spent thousands of dollars on a handicap van for his wife, but it broke down within days – and it took almost a year to get it fixed.

When Anthony Ricci’s wife got sick and was confined to a wheelchair, he went right into action. He said he had an electric chair lift installed in their home, he had a power scooter in the back of his car for her to use, and he even bought her a handicap van – whatever it took to make her life as comfortable as possible.

After bringing the van home Ricci noticed it was leaking gas in the driveway, but that was just the beginning.

“I went walking to the van and then the headlights went out, then the wipers, then the alarm went off. It was crazy,” he recalled.

Ricci immediately took the vehicle back to where he bought it, and was told the computer system needed an overhaul. The company said it wouldn’t cost him anything, but that was the last he saw of the van for nearly a year.

Unfortunately, Ricci’s wife never even had a chance to ride in the van. She died while the couple was waiting for it to be fixed.

At this point he no longer needed the van, and asked to company to just give him back what he paid for it.

“They called me back and said no, they couldn’t afford to buy it,” Ricci said.

Call 12 for Action contacted the company, and within weeks the van was fixed. They delivered it to Ricci this week so he can now sell it and put the money towards a bill he wish he didn’t have to pay.

“I can pay off her funeral, which I still owe some money on,” he said.

The company’s owner said he wasn’t stalling on purpose, but was having difficulty getting the parts to fix the van. Since Ricci didn’t purchase the vehicle from a dealership, he was pretty much stuck with letting the seller fix it or face big repair bills. Bottom line – know your rights before you get into a situation like this.

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