Laboratory tests performed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have shown that radio waves can
cause unintended motion of electric mobility vehicles. Radio waves are a form of electromagnetic energy
(EM). When electromagnetic energy adversely affects the operation of an electrical device, that adverse
effect is called Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) or Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).
EMI/RFI FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
The following FAQs summarize what you should kn ow about EMI/RFI. Use this information to minimize the
risk that EMI/RFI will adversely affect your mobility vehicle.
Where do radio waves come from?
Radio waves are emitted from the antennas of cellular phones, mobile two-way radios (such as walkie-
talkies and CBs), radio stations, TV stations, amateur radio (HAM) transmitters, wireless computer links,
microwave sources, and paging transmitters. Radio waves are a form of electromagnetic energy (EM). EM
is more intense closer to transmitting antennas, which are sources of emission. The greater the transmis-
sion strength, the greater the concern to electric mobility vehicle users.
If EMI/RFI affects my mobility vehicle, what kind of motion should I expect?
This is difficult to predict. The answer would depend on a number of factors:
n The strength of the radio waves.
n The construction of your particular mobility vehicle.
n The location of your mobility vehicle (whether it is on the level ground or on an incline).
n Whether or not your mobility vehicle is in motion.
The motion of any electric mobility vehicle affected by EMI/RFI can be erratic. The mobility vehicle may
come to a sudden stop or move in an uncontrolled manner. Also, it is possible for EMI/RFI to release the
brakes of an electric mobility vehicle. Some intense EMI/RFI can even damage the control system compo-
nents of an electric mobility vehicle.
Is there any way to know for certain whether or not radio waves are the cause of any unintended
mobility vehicle motion?
Unfortunately, EMI/RFI may be difficult to recognize, because the signals from radio sources are invisible
and may be intermittent. However, the FDA recommends that you report all incidents of unintended motion
or unintended brake release of your mobility vehicle to its manufacturer and, if possible, determine whether
or not there was a radio wave source nearby at the time of the incident.
One precaution you can take against unintended motion of your mobility vehicle is to make certain that you
or someone else is not the cause of the unintended motion.
n Turn off your mobility vehicle by removing the key from the key switch when you are getting onto or
off of your mobility vehicle.
n Never leave the key in the key switch of an unattended mobility vehicle.
n By following these steps, you greatly reduce the risk of you or anyone else inadvertently bumping the
throttle control levers and causing the mobility vehicle to move unintentionally.
Has anyone been injured by the erratic, unintended motion of an electric mobility vehicle?
The FDA has reports of injuries that resulted from uncontrolled motion of electric mobility vehicles, but it
is not clear just how many of those injuries were actually caused by EMI/RFI.
Victory XL-4 /RevC/June03
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