Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia takes back 1,500 peeling licence plates

The province says it has identified the problem with a batch of peeling licence plates manufactured in 2008, between the sequence of ENG001 to ETA499.

Government says it's seen an increased number in defective licence plates made in 2008

During the 2008 manufacturing period, 90,000 plates were produced. But so far, the province says only 1,500 plates have been returned because reflective sheeting is separating from the metal plate. (Yvonne Colbert/CBC)

Thousands of peeling Nova Scotia licence plates are being reported from around the province. So if the reflective paint is starting to fall off yours, then you're not alone.

The province says it's identified the problem with a batch of plates manufactured in 2008, between the sequence of ENG001 to ETA499.

During that period, 90,000 plates were produced. But so far, the province says only 1,500 of them have been returned because reflective sheeting is separating from the metal plate.

Truro resident Carolyn Irving says her plate is peeling, but she had no idea there was a problem with the manufacturing process.

"I noticed it about two months ago," she said.

"I thought it was from my husband washing my car too much and the particular type of cleaner, but it wasn't happening to his license plate."

Conditional free replacement

Service Nova Scotia spokesperson Tracy Barron said the government doesn't believe that all the plates within that manufacturing period are experiencing the same issue, but they've seen a spike in defective plates more recently.

"The plates are manufactured by Waldale Manufacturing Limited, while the sheeting is provided to Waldale by 3M," Barron told CBC News.

"We have used Waldale Manufacturing for over 40 years through the tendering process. Waldale has also been using 3M for over 40 years," she said. 

Even though the plates have a five year warranty, the government says the peeling is extremely unusual. 

"As a result, Service Nova Scotia will replace any plates with such a defect at no cost," according to spokesman Toby Koffman.

"If the plate is within the identified range — ENG001 to ETA499 for standard plates — the client does not need to present the plate upon replacement. Normally, clients would have to present the defective plate in order to waive the fee."

Barron said defective plates have been sent for analysis. The government will wait for results before determining who is responsible for the cost of replacement plates.

She said there are no safety concerns with the plates and law enforcement has not expressed any concern about being able to read the plates.

If a plate is not readable, police can ticket the car's owner under the Motor Vehicle Act. The fine is $233.95.

About the Author

Yvonne Colbert

Consumer Watchdog

Yvonne Colbert has been a journalist for nearly 35 years, covering everything from human interest stories to the provincial legislature. These days she helps consumers navigate an increasingly complex marketplace and avoid getting ripped off. She invites story ideas at yvonne.colbert@cbc.ca

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