Over the course of 35 years, the brand name "Rascal" was practically interchangeable with those of mobility scooters. Despite this, the business encountered challenging circumstances in the early years of this decade. In 2013, Rascal's retailer, The SCOOTER Store, was forced to close its doors permanently as a direct result of losing contracts, which in turn led to a loss of revenue, which in turn triggered bankruptcy procedures. Additionally, questionable business methods led to legal issues, which ultimately resulted in the retailer's closure.
Because of this, Rascal scooters are no longer readily available throughout the United States in large quantities. There is a possibility that preowned models are still on the market and can be purchased through stores and shops that focus especially on the trade of secondhand home medical equipment. Electric Mobility Euro Limited, a related business, is still in existence in the United Kingdom. The company continues to manufacture and market scooters as well as other mobility aids; however, it does not appear that their goods are accessible anywhere else in the world.
What Really Happened? An In Depth Look
Electric Mobility started in 1986, later it would become a business known for manufacturing Rascal scooters. It was consistently one of the most successful businesses in the mobility sector for many years. The Department of Veterans Affairs even had a contract with the company at one point to supply full-size four-wheeled scooters to disabled service members, and the company was able to fulfill that contract. The company initially climbed to prominence in part by flooding television airwaves with advertisements for items that promised to provide people with mobility challenges the ability to go anywhere, as well as restore the independence that many felt they had lost.
The company's aggressive advertising strategies included promotional sweepstakes in which participants had the chance to win a free Rascal scooter. The corporation exploited the entries to the sweepstakes in order to gather phone numbers from the people who entered the contest. The fact that Electric Mobility was gathering the entrants' phone numbers in order to use them for telemarketing purposes was not disclosed to the customers in any way by the form.
This technique of collecting phone numbers through sweepstakes entries was allowed up until the year 2003 before the national Do Not Call Registry went into force. Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule of the Federal Trade Commission, consumers had the option of voluntarily listing their phone numbers on the registry, and once their numbers were registered, it became illegal for telemarketers to call them at that number. Therefore, all of Electric Mobility's telemarketing calls to contest entrants after 2003, which number in the millions, were in violation of the law each and every time.
In addition to its telemarketing troubles, another strategy that Electric Mobility utilized in order to advertise its products to older citizens came under the observation of the United States Department of Justice, which ultimately resulted in the filing of a lawsuit against the company in 2005 for Medicare fraud. The lawsuit was settled for $4 million in 2007, but as part of the agreement, the government was compelled to conduct periodic evaluations of the corporation. After conducting such an investigation in 2011, the company discovered that it had received unlawful payments for scooters in an amount that was estimated to be between $47 million and $88 million.
In 2011, the Veterans Affairs Department decided to end its contract with Electric Mobility, possibly as a result of the company's persistent legal issues with the government. As a direct consequence of this, the company experienced a loss in revenue, which ultimately led to the filing of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The final straw that broke the camel's back for Rascal Mobility Scooters was in 2013, when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) informed the company that it would no longer be able to receive federal reimbursement from the sale of its products due to ongoing allegations of Medicare fraud. As a result of this news, the company was forced to permanently close its doors.
An Alternative Option To Rascal Mobility Scooters
Because the manufacturer of Rascal Mobility Scooters is out of business, we don't recommend buying one of their scooters. Instead, if you are looking for a high-quality mobility scooter, we recommend the Vive Health 4 Wheel Mobility Scooter for the following reasons:
- Only costs $799
- It has better reviews
- It the same range, weight capacity, and max speed
- It breaks apart into multiple pieces with the lightest piece only weighing 29 lbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Rascal scooters any good?
When they were in business, Rascal produced high-quality scooters and became a leading mobility provider in the USA. However, now that the scooters are no longer manufactured, it is hard to get replacement parts.
Is Rascal scooter still in business?
No, Rascal Mobility went bankrupt in 2011 and fully shut its doors in 2013 due to numerous legal troubles.
Who manufactures Rascal scooters?
Electric Mobility manufactured Rascal Mobility from 1986 to 2011 in the USA
What is the range of a Rascal?
The base models (like the Little Rascal Scooter) have a range of around 11 miles, whereas a top of the line model has a range of about 18 miles.
How fast does a Rascal mobility scooter go?
The average scooter goes 4 mph, but the heavy duty models can go up to 8 mph.
What is the weight limit on a rascal scooter?
Up to 350 lbs. for heavy-duty models.