So far 132,000 plates have been returned and replaced for free by Service Ontario centres since January 2014.
Thousands of drivers in Ontario have to worry about something other than flat tires, oil changes, and cracked windshields. An epidemic of peeling licence plates in the province could mean many unlucky car owners will be stuck with a bill for something that's not their fault. In fact, some have already had to shell out for the defective plates.
As reported by CityNews, certain plates' reflective lamination is prone to bubbling or peeling. If the plates are five years old or newer, they'll be replaced free of charge by Service Ontario. If they're older than five years old, though, drivers will be on the hook for the $40 it costs to replace them, leaving many drivers unhappy with the situation.
Poor sticking and multi-layer setup of the sheeting could make it more apt to puncture, or have water penetrate.
The report says that so far, 132,000 plates have been returned and replaced for free by Service Ontario centres since January 2014.
The plates are manufactured by staff at Trilcor, which consists of inmates at Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario. In an investigation, CityNews reported that "poor sticking of the reflective sheeting onto the aluminum was observed for almost all of the samples except those of the motorcycle format."
The poor sticking and multi-layer setup of the sheeting could make it more apt to puncture, or have water penetrate. CityNews also said that de-icing solutions used on roads during the winter could accelerate the corrosion - which is definitely a likelihood in a province like Ontario, which is not immune to snow and ice.
Etobicoke, Ontario's Reid Patterson tells CityNews that he's being forced to pay the $40 to replace his nine-year-old plate, which is currently peeling.
"It is a concern and I do want to have it changed eventually, but I'm not willing to spend the $40 it takes to change it,” Reid tells CityNews. He claims it was a car wash that caused the lamination to come off.
The good news is that according to Ministry of Correctional Services spokesperson Andrew Morrison, changes are already being implemented to help improve the situation with the defective plates.
"In 2015, the supplier of the reflective sheeting implemented changes to its production process which is consistent with changes implemented in other jurisdictions," Morrison tells CityNews. "We are monitoring the situation to see if these changes improve the plate quality."
Our suggestion is for Ontario residents to keep a close eye on any licence plates attached to their vehicles, especially any that are close to the five year expiration date for free replacements. Regardless of their age, it's worth noting that any plate that isn't easy visible to police could result in a $120 fine according to the Highway Traffic Act.