VIN Mismatch: Why Does it Happen and What to Do

VIN mismatch may occur. If it does happen, what should you do? Find out more about the VIN mismatch and the appropriate steps to take.

Each vehicle has a unique chassis number (also called Vehicle Identification Number) that is the true identity of the automobile. The VIN once registered becomes the official identity of the car. Manufacturers are always careful in stamping and indicating a car’s VIN to avoid confusion. However, it does not entail a VIN mismatch, and errors are impossible.

VIN errors happen often. No matter how strict the authorities in implementing VIN use and vehicle registration, some tampers the true identity of the automobile that results in VIN mismatch.

VIN mismatch rarely occurs when a person buys new cars from authorized distributors and stores. It is more common when buying used or second-hand vehicles.

Why does it Happen? 

Take note that the VIN should always match what is indicated on the vehicle’s registration certificate. If it does not match, then there is something wrong with the vehicle.

It is easy to check if there is a VIN error or mismatch on the records. You can ask for the car’s official registration certificate and inspect if it coincides with the vehicle’s chassis number. If it does, you can dig deeper by checking the chassis number.

There are online sources that check the chassis number. You can go to one of these services provides to gather more details about the vehicle. The data you’ll find during chassis number check are as follows:

  • The car’s ownership history
  • Manufacturer
  • Vehicle data such as its performance rating, gas emission, and many more.

However, if during the chassis number check, the data does not match with the vehicle, no doubt there’s an anomaly going on. Also, you better walk away from the deal if you could not find information about the vehicle no matter how you check the VIN from different service providers.

VIN mismatch is often a product of fraudulent activity; perhaps, the car was stolen and VIN tampering happened to conceal its identity.

However, there are instances wherein the mismatch is due to simple mistakes. If you immediately notice the error, make sure to correct it right away to avoid legal disputes, penalties, and expensive fixing costs.

How to Fix Mistake in VIN Number? 

If the mistake was due to the manufacturer’s fault, what you can do is call them. Get their contact information and ask for help on how to fix the issue. A personal visit to the manufacturer also helps if their office is near you.

As you reach the manufacturer, request a letter identifying the invalid and correct VIN. Also, add the contact information of the manufacturer as a reference for law enforcement for follow-up purposes.

Fix the VIN error right away. Make sure to correct the mistake before officially registering the vehicle. Any delay on the fixture may lead to penalties. And remember that law enforcement is strict when it comes to VIN and vehicle registrations.

It is why checking VIN is important. It reduces the chances of VIN error and assures the vehicle is legally purchased. Moreover, it helps to circumvent fraudulent deals.