The company that operates the new A25 toll bridge that connects the Island of Montreal to Laval acknowledges that some drivers have been overcharged because of faulty equipment.

Drivers are able to purchase transponders for crossing the bridge, which are supposed to eliminate administrative fees for bridge users.

But some drivers have found that transponders don't function properly on their vehicles.

Giovanni Raitano lives in Montreal not far from the bridge and often goes to Laval to visit friends.

He said he and his brother purchased transponders so they wouldn't be charged a $3 fee each time they crossed the bridge. But Raitano said they were both still charged the fee.

Staff at the bridge's administrative offices then admitted that the transponder does not function on cars with antennas built into the windshield.

Raitano said the company that runs the bridge should let drivers know about the problem.

"If it happened to me, him, I can imagine how many others, you know? Basically they should do a little recall," said Raitano.

In addition, Raitano said he was told he needed to visit the bridge's offices in Laval to get a new transponder and that he could not avoid being charged the fee once again if he used the bridge.

Causes of transponder interference:

  • Remote car starters
  • Rear view mirror attachments
  • Window tinting
  • Antennas built into windshields
  • Heated windshields
  • Metallized windshields

Source: Concession A25 S.E.C.

Raitano said having a private company run the bridge wasn't the best idea.

"They wanted to go private, that's what happens. You can't fight the system. It's theirs, it belongs to them and that's it."

Problem is rare: bridge management

Pierre Brien speaks for the private company that operates the bridge.

He said there's no need to warn drivers about the potential problem because it's not widespread.

"We have, at this point in time, 130,000 transponders and it happened a couple of times so it's rare," said Brien.

Brien said several features included in certain cars can potentially affect their transponder's ability to function.

But Brien said anyone who discovers a problem will be reimbursed for incorrectly charged fees, including fees charged for traveling to their offices.

Raitano said he thinks the problem may be common and said users should double-check their bills to make sure they're not being charged extra fees without realizing it.