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  #1  
Old 02-22-2011, 07:39 AM
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Question two different VIN numbers

My car never ceases to surprise me even though I thought I knew everything about it. I currently live in Poland where a car needs to get inspected for suspension, breaks, lights etc in order to be eligible to drive on roads.

So, I took my Benz to a local inspection shop for a routine, annual check-up. The technician tells me that my VIN number in the registration book does not match the VIN located on the firewall. I told the guy that he was full of sh.t and told him to re-check it to his disapproval. I went ahead and checked it myself. The number on the firewall was different than the other two numbers on the tags located on the window and the door pilars inside the cabin. The original (US) title that I had before I had moved to Poland had the same VIN number that the tags indicated. So, all the new paperwork that I got after the move matched whatever was on the original title.

For some reason, while buying this car in the US, I failed to check the VIN on the firewall because I compared the title to the numbers on the tags inside. Frankly, at the time, I never knew there was another VIN number in the engine bay. What is interesting to note is that both numbers are very similar to each other eliminating the fact that someone was trying to do something illegal with it. They both have the same prefix and suffix WDBxxxxxxxx167737 and all the tags attachments still look original, without any marks of removal.

Right now, I cannot drive my car until I have this resolved and this is my daily driver. Does anyone have any thoughts?

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Old 02-22-2011, 08:07 AM
92 300D 2.5L OBK #59
 
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The one on the dash (visible in the windshield) is the one most places go by. Maybe front end was redone (cut and weld).
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:12 AM
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what are the center numbers that are missing?
it sounds like someone used firewall from a different car. the last series of numbers being the same is ODD! that is the series that determines manufacture date/production order. the middle numbers that you xxx'd determine chassis/option/bodystyle etc...
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:14 AM
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If they are going by the plate on the front cross member under the bonnet / hood you could just rivet on your own!
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:57 AM
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Ya, what is different about the VINs. Do the firewall and A pillar VIN match on a Mercedes? I've never looked... I know they don't on VWs: There are a couple filler digets used (X's) because at that stage of production the items those characters represent are not decided yet.

-J
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:25 AM
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Normally, it's the last six digits that determine the cars identiy. So if the last six digits match, Here in the US, most jurisdictions will have a state-police officer or motor-vehicle office supevisor inspect your papers and ID on the car to issue a corrected title. I've had a title correction done twice when a title VIN didn't match the vehicle VIN, but I was told they won't correct it if the discrepancy is with the last six digits.
However, I never experienced a mismatch between the VINs attached to a vehicle.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:44 PM
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You really need a new, qualified, mechanic is the problem.

The VIN is the number visibile through the windshield and the drivers' B-pillar. This is what is correctly used on your paperwork.

The firewall contains the chassis number. Though similar, it is not the VIN. Any Benz mechanic worth his salt would know this. Benz cars have been identified this way for decades.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:51 PM
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My 82 wagon had a different number on the firewall than the other tags. Like stated above I don't think it's actually the VIN number on the firewall. I think a chassis ID number makes more sense, as the firewall number is the one you can put into the russian VIN site to see all the options your car orginally came with.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:27 PM
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:09 PM
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I think I have an explanation (if not the solution) for this problem.

On my Euro '84 300TD, the VIN tag is located on the top radiatior support and that number DOES match the number on the firewall. This car has no VIN tag on the door-post or windshield-pillar.

On my US-market '82 240D, the VIN tag is on the left door-post and that number matches the VIN tag on the windshield pillar, but NOT the one on the firewall.

So maybe the appropriate authorities in Poland need to be made aware of the peculiarities of the US-market Mercedes VIN. Perhaps documentation must be obtained from Daimler-Benz to satisfy them.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:32 AM
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Thanks for all your replies. They all seem to be valid ones. However, I called MB USA last night and got this sorted out. I was told that both numbers are correct and reference to the same vehicle. The tags on windshield and door pilars show what is called a WORLD VIN. This VIN is to be used to identify the vehicle, order parts etc. The VIN on the firewall is called MB INTERNAL TAG VIN and I mwas told that it is used to identify the vehicle internally in their system. The operator also mentioned that it is used to track a vehicle in their system (whatever that means). I have a peace of mind that nothing was done to the vehicle causing the VIN inconsistencies. It is just the way they used to mark/tag them. They are happy to write-up a formal certification letter should any issues arise. The letter should be in my mailbox in a few weeks from now.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark DiSilvestro View Post
I think I have an explanation (if not the solution) for this problem.

On my Euro '84 300TD, the VIN tag is located on the top radiatior support and that number DOES match the number on the firewall. This car has no VIN tag on the door-post or windshield-pillar.

On my US-market '82 240D, the VIN tag is on the left door-post and that number matches the VIN tag on the windshield pillar, but NOT the one on the firewall.

So maybe the appropriate authorities in Poland need to be made aware of the peculiarities of the US-market Mercedes VIN. Perhaps documentation must be obtained from Daimler-Benz to satisfy them.

Happy Motoring, Mark
Hi Mark,

your US-market 240D is tagged in the same manner my car is tagged. The appropriate authorities in Poland do not have any information on what to look for on US-spec cars. The person inspecting my car allowed me to see in their own database places they are required to check VIN numbers on all pre-1992 Mercedes. Unfortunately, they did not have anything related to US-spec cars and only have reference to EURO-spec ones. The only place they are instructed to look is the firewall and tags in the engine bay (just like the one on the radiator support). I had a good laugh (kind of an ironic laugh) when the guy told me that I attached the tags inside the cabin myself acusing me of trying to illegaly register my car. I really don't blame the guy because there are a lot of imported cars on polish market that had their VIN numbers changed since they were assembled from 2 or 3 different vehicles.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcyuhn View Post
You really need a new, qualified, mechanic is the problem.

The VIN is the number visibile through the windshield and the drivers' B-pillar. This is what is correctly used on your paperwork.

The firewall contains the chassis number. Though similar, it is not the VIN. Any Benz mechanic worth his salt would know this. Benz cars have been identified this way for decades.
Um, not mechanic per say. An inspector.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:59 AM
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Here in th US, somtimes there are problems registering a Euro-spec Mercedes because the Euro VIN doesn't follow exactly the US VIN sequence, so US motor-vehicle databases may reject it.
Usually this gets resolved by a motor-vehicle supervisor or state police inspection of the vehicle.
Hope a letter from Daimler-Benz is enough to satisfy the Polish authorities..
For additional proof that you didn't tag the car yourself, if you have the correct owner's manuals for your US-spec Mercedes, there should be some illustration in one showing the proper location of the VIN tags. Good luck.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Last edited by Mark DiSilvestro; 02-24-2011 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark DiSilvestro View Post
Here in th US, somtimes there are problems registering a Euro-spec Mercedes because the Euro VIN doesn't follow exactly the US VIN sequence, so US motor-vehicle databases may reject it.
Usually this gets resolved by a motor-vehicle supervisor or state police inspection of the vehicle.
Hope a letter from Daimler-Benz is enough to satisfy the Polish authorities..
For additional proof that you didn't tag the car yourself, if you have the correct owner's manuals for your US-spec Mercedes, there should be some illustration in one showing the proper location of the VIN tags. Good luck.

Happy Motoring, Mark
that's what I will attempt to do. Go to the DMV authorities and hope that they will accept the explanation the MB USA gave me. You are correct about the owner's manual. I looked at it the other day and it gives the exact locations of the VIN tags. I will use that to my advantage as well. I have already received the letter in a soft copy and will get the hard copy in the mail, in about a few weeks. I will attach the letter to this post for others to view it if interested.
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two different VIN numbers-vin-inconsistency-mb-official-letter.jpg  

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