SOMERS POINT — A droopy cable is to blame for overcharging several thousand E-ZPass users at the Garden State Parkway's Great Egg Toll Plaza.

The Turnpike Authority first learned of the overcharge on Sept. 20 thanks to a New Jersey 101.5 listener who discovered the error while checking their statement.

Other drivers notified the Turnpike Authority that they had been charged either $3.72 or $3.92, the rate for Class 2 vehicles, instead of the $2 toll charged for Class 1 vehicles like passenger cars and motorcycles.

"There's equipment in the lanes to check out the size of your car and count the number of tires and things like that. And so there's a sensor overhead that does that. And there was a tie holding these wires in place and one of the ties broke and the wire drooped down across the sensor," Feeney told New Jersey 101.5.

An investigation determined that 23% of the cars passing under the faulty sensor, or approximately 18,400 vehicles, were misread for 20 days starting Sept. 9 through Thursday, Sept. 29.

The error will be automatically fixed

Feeney said that E-ZPass has identified all of the users who were charged the wrong amount and their accounts will be credited.

"Users can log into their E-ZPass account, and you'll see that that any $3.92 or $3.72 toll as was changed to the appropriate amount," Feeney said.

Another error

This is the second time this year a mechanical problem led to E-ZPass users being overcharged because of a faulty sensor.

From February through the first week of July, 86,000 passenger vehicles were charged a $9 toll instead of the correct $1.25 — more than seven times the correct amount — at the tolls for the Trenton-Morrisville toll bridge on Route 1, according to the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.

Customers hit by the overcharges at the Route 1 bridge would see the retroactive adjustments reflected in their accounts as the changes were expected to be fully entered by Sept. 9.

Previous reporting by Erin Vogt was used in this report.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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