ALBANY — New York state’s new “Excelsior” license plates have been recalled due to a manufacturing flaw.
A DMV spokeswoman Lisa Koumjian told WRGB on Tuesday that state officials discovered some of the plates were manufactured in a way that made them too reflective. The issue made it difficult for some cameras to read the licenses on state roads and highways.
The state said it changed its manufacturing process “early on,” but some of the plates were still shipped inadvertently to some counties. Spectrum News reports county clerks in Rensselaer, Saratoga and Dutchess counties confirmed they received the “Excelsior” license plates and sent them back over the last several days.
“The state DMV sent something out to all the clerks letting them know that all the plates that they had distributed a month ago, they’re going to hold off, they’re going to do an inventory,” Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola told Spectrum. “To me, it doesn’t make any sense.”
Koumjian said none of the faulty license plates were issued to drivers.
“The state has already collected and replaced them and they will eventually be reissued,” she said. Koumjian did not say how many were recalled.
According to Spectrum, distribution of the new plates was originally scheduled to begin April 1, but the coronavirus pandemic forced DMV offices to close in March. Old blue and gold license plates will be issued until the “Excelsior” plates are ready.
New Yorkers voted in favor of the new license plate design, which features Niagara Falls, the Adirondacks and the Statue of Liberty along with the state motto “excelsior” (“ever upward”), last year. Four other designs were proposed, including one with the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, formerly known as the Tappan Zee Bridge.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo originally proposed making it mandatory for anyone with a license plate 10 years old or older to get the new plates, with a $25 replacement fee, but backed off after the majority of New York voters opposed the mandated change.