• Aug 11, 2006
Ford Motor Co. has been cleared in a class-action lawsuit revolving around the hardware required to attach a license plate to the front of car. Ted Strauss of Texas filed suit against the automaker after he received a $155 fine for not having a front plate on his 2002 Jaguar X-Type. Strauss sued not only Ford but also D & M Leasing, Co. claiming the two had violated Texas state motor vehicle and consumer protection laws, breached implied warranties and were negligent. While Texas is a state that requires motorists to display front license plates, U.S. District Chief Judge A. Joe Fish ruled that Ford and the leasing company had no legal duty to display front license plates, or rear ones for that matter, when a car is sold. We know the frustration Strauss must feel, as many of us live in states that require both front and rear plates. The precedent has been set, though, and by law we're all responsible now for affixing our own plates.

[Source: Automotive News]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Next we'll read that GM is leaving out the accelerator pedal (cost saving move). It will be upheld by a judge who will state that there's no impied contract that the vehicle was intended to actually go anywhere.

      I hate sue-happy people as much as anybody, but where is the customer service ethic in a dealer and lease company that operate in a state that requires front plates and don't provide the hardware?
      • 8 Years Ago
      A Nebraska senator tried to get the front license plate repealed several years ago in Nebraska. The local Lincoln Nebraska police mafia lobby & the state pen folks fought both publically & behind the scenes to stop the bill. One of the committee senators stated that he only listens to the police and nobody else. Thank god term limits will get rid of him. At that time 46% of the population of the US lived in states with only 1 plate. Even neighboring Kansas has 1 plate. The police here claim they need it when they come upon speeders. I would suggest when the police are working their radar they probably only have time to determine the car, color, whether on not it has a front plate and then the car is past. We need to get rid of front plates, period.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I recently purchased an Audi A4, and really with a license plate up front would make it look like it had buck teeth. I live in TX and know it's a law to mount one. I've decided to go against it due to the fact I rarely drive. I do feel if I was pulled over for this offense I would get a warning the first time. I guess that's just a hope.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've seen many cars here in South Carolina with standard plates (we cal 'em tags) on the rear, and out-dated vanity tags on the front. Of course, this is in a state where defacing your tag with Clemson Tiger and South Carolina Gamecock stickers is perfectly legal.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why would camaros in Wa be coming from factory without front plate mount when every other camaro i've ever seen comes with them? i wonder if its the fact the dealer chose not too install it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      how can ohio ticket you for no front plate if you're state doesnt issue you one? THat makes no sense
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just so everyone knows, the law in Ohio is that you have to have two plates. Not just people from Ohio, but anyone driving through Ohio must also have two plates, as this is Ohio law. Similar to headlight laws, seatbelt laws, and helmet laws, you must follow the laws of the state you are driving in, not those where you first registered the car.
      Rarely is anyone ticketed for this, but if the cop doesn't like you, you can pay a fine for this, even though you aren't provided with two plates from your state.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Annoy's me to do so because I like the clean lines of my car without the plate and holder up front. In fact, it means I have to drill into somewhere to get that mounted up front (but there are also cable ties...)

      What I've been doing now for a while is have the front plate under my drivers seat so if I get pulled over, I can produce it on demand for the officer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Just so everyone knows, the law in Ohio is that you have to have two plates. Not just people from Ohio, but anyone driving through Ohio must also have two plates, as this is Ohio law."

      Okay..so point me in the right direction. I've driven through Ohio hundreds of times, along with Illinois (which requires 2 plates also) and have never, ever been pulled over for that reason, nor has it ever been mentioned. I'm curious to find out how am I supposed to magically pull another plate (a matching one mind you) out of my butt and slap it on the front of my car....
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have been been ticketed in NY for lack of a front plate. I have created an online petition to get rid of this requirement. I saw one for california and pretty much copied it.

      You can see the California one here:

      http://www.petitiononline.com/caplate/

      Mine for NY is here

      http://www.petitiononline.com/nyplate/

      I think the front license plate serves no useful purpose.

      Please create one for your state!
      • 8 Years Ago
      As part of my jihad against false legal statements/opinions on Autoblog, I feel compelled to note the following: contrary to the story's assertion, when a federal district judge makes a ruling it is precedent for that district only. This TX district judge has no power to bind other districts or courts to his view.

      Other federal and state courts can consider the opinion persuasive but it is not determinative. They are free to decide the front plate issue as they wish.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The car maker does not have to do dick (and that's what they judge basically said). Read your state requirements and many state "The registered owner must display license plate on the front and rear of the vehicle"

      It's your responsibility, not the manufacturer.

      Waste of money, waste of time, waste of court time.
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