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      07-04-2019, 02:15 PM   #1
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Opinion: Stolen, Accident or Coincidence?

Hello All,

Currently driving a F32, 2017 440i, but on the look out for an M4.

I live in Dubai, U.A.E. and would always prefer to buy a G.C.C. spec car with full dealership service history, as well as service package and warranty, to avoid any potential hidden problems. However, today, I came across an imported, perfectly optioned, 2018 LCI M4 Competition for approx. $25,000 under market value with KMs 14,000. The car has been imported from Germany - hence the lower price and for your information, it has most likely been on a ship for over a month from Germany to Dubai.

Prior to going to see the car I got my friends down at BMW to run the VIN number and they sent me the entire spec sheet - confirming once again that it was an M4 Competition and that it still had 2 years of International BMW warranty. When I got to the car, everything looked amazing (I inspected every inch of the car - looking out for imperfect body lines, signs of accidents, etc.), the car drove well and sounded phenomenal. It wasn't until I was about to leave the car, where I noticed something very strange. I flipped down the sun visors and opened the mirror shade and noticed that both the driver and passenger side mirrors were both broken/smashed.

My first instinct was to look at the roof as well as open the sunroof - but without any clear cut signs, I couldn't see anything that indicated that the car had been in an accident. The dealer (remembering it's not a BMW dealership) said he had never seen the mirrors (he's only had the car for 2 days), but once again confirmed that the car hadn't been in an accident.

Lastly another interesting find; both the VIN on the driver door and in the front windshield were gone. What could this mean?

What do you guys think - is it a "shipping accident", has the car been in a major accident and repaired but they glanced over the smallest detail, or is this just some very strange coincidence??

The next step is a full pre-purchase inspection by BMW - which will obviously shed some light on the actual history of the car, but until then, I wanted your opinion.

Feels like a murder mystery!!
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      07-04-2019, 02:40 PM   #2
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It can't be easy to get the VIN number plate out from behind the windshield - gotta pull dash or windshield.

Any VIN number at all on other panels?
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      07-04-2019, 02:52 PM   #3
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Well the only places I looked besides the windshield were as follows:

- Driver side door jam (no VIN)

- Plaque on the right side of the engine bay - when looking at the engine from the front of the car (Vin only)

- Left side of the Engine (Full Chassis number)

So very strange that the VIN number plate behind the windshield is missing. Like you said, not the easiest thing to remove.

Here is the full VIN for anyone that might have some tools that I don't have access to: WBS4Y91080AC56261 (ie. reported stolen or been in an accident).
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Last edited by F32DXB; 07-04-2019 at 02:59 PM..
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      07-04-2019, 03:02 PM   #4
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Mirror damage is a common fault / design issue (as per Nick Murray video below).

https://youtu.be/rgVLBT0HWWE?t=163
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      07-04-2019, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VCO View Post
Mirror damage is a common fault / design issue (as per Nick Murray video below).

https://youtu.be/rgVLBT0HWWE?t=163
MIND BLOWN!
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      07-04-2019, 03:05 PM   #6
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My passenger mirror is smashed too.. found out on the way home after purchasing it.

The passenger seat, when folded down can hit it, amd crack the mirror.

I tried to get bmw to replace it, they claim user error.

When my in laws were over from Poland, I watched my father in law swing the seat open for my mother in law, and gave it a good whack again. I can see how it happens.
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      07-04-2019, 03:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maul3d View Post
My passenger mirror is smashed too.. found out on the way home after purchasing it.

The passenger seat, when folded down can hit it, amd crack the mirror.

I tried to get bmw to replace it, they claim user error.
Jeeeez - it's a design fault! They should be replacing it.
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      07-04-2019, 04:20 PM   #8
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Since when do German BMWs (or EU models) have USA (or English?) warning stickers on visors?
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      07-04-2019, 06:47 PM   #9
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I donít know all of the vin locations but there should be vin plate on the passenger frame rail by the air box and another one behind the license plate on the trunk lid, in addition to the dashboard and driver door.

I personally think the guesses you made in the thread title are on point.
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      07-04-2019, 06:56 PM   #10
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Very common problem on the sun visors. Had both of mine replaced under warranty.
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      07-04-2019, 07:43 PM   #11
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any tampering with things like the VIN would cause me to walk away--that's just me.
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      07-04-2019, 10:28 PM   #12
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Don't know off the top of my head but try the driver door jam. Should be on the arm there should be a vin number there.
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      07-04-2019, 11:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellas203 View Post
Don't know off the top of my head but try the driver door jam. Should be on the arm there should be a vin number there.
Re-read post #1
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      07-05-2019, 12:08 AM   #14
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This car screams of being stolen/tampered with.

A code reader can hook up to the ODB port and read the vin from the DME. I'd be curious to see if it matches what's on the engine bay.

Edit: I'm unsure of policys in the EU or Middle east but in the states you can run the vin though a system to see if it's been reported stolen at any point. You might want to try that since the car originated from Germany.

The VIN plate on BMW's now is actually a sticker..that doesnt come off easily and leaves residue and tamper marks if removed. Combine that with a missing vin sticker on the drivers side is very odd. Sometimes you'll have a blocked vin plate due to a replacement windshield but when you're missing both... very very suspect.

Last edited by nickl630; 07-05-2019 at 12:14 AM..
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      07-05-2019, 12:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickl630 View Post
This car screams of being stolen/tampered with.

A code reader can hook up to the ODB port and read the vin from the DME. I'd be curious to see if it matches what's on the engine bay.

Edit: I'm unsure of policys in the EU or Middle east but in the states you can run the vin though a system to see if it's been reported stolen at any point. You might want to try that since the car originated from Germany.

The VIN plate on BMW's now is actually a sticker..that doesnt come off easily and leaves residue and tamper marks if removed. Combine that with a missing vin sticker on the drivers side is very odd. Sometimes you'll have a blocked vin plate due to a replacement windshield but when you're missing both... very very suspect.
Interesting - I didn't think of a different VIN number.
Obviously I gave BMW the VIN number prior to seeing the car, and they confirmed that it was an M4 Comp and that it still had valid BMW warranty. So judging by that, from there side the car is still "Clean"

I'm leaning more towards stolen now - just because of the missing VIN numbers. The mirrors, seem to be such a common issue.

Hope to have it in for a check during this upcoming week - unless, some poor, clueless person, goes and buys the car immediately, not caring or knowing about the potential issues with it.
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      07-05-2019, 12:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
Since when do German BMWs (or EU models) have USA (or English?) warning stickers on visors?

Sounds stolen to me.
This I don't know about.

Can any EU owners confirm what language their warning stickers are in. I can confirm that in the Middle East they are in English.

Would presume it would be the same in Europe.
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      07-05-2019, 12:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CloudCode View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
Since when do German BMWs (or EU models) have USA (or English?) warning stickers on visors?
This I don't know about.

Can any EU owners confirm what language their warning stickers are in. I can confirm that in the Middle East they are in English.

Would presume it would be the same in Europe.
In the EU, for the most part, they are not there.

That's why Americans buy and retrofit the EU Visors from IND - to not have the stickers.

https://ind-distribution.com/product...-sun-visor-set

BMW Part Numbers 51168061313 and 51168061314

Although I did notice a sticker on the M4 YouTube Video above in this thread.....but it certainly isn't in English.
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      07-05-2019, 04:57 AM   #18
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This particular car has not been specified to have the VIN externally displayed from the factory.

Option S8SMA is the code that specifies this "Car ident number visible from the outside".

If you enter the VIN for this particular car into a BMW VIN decoder, you will note that under "Environment and Safety" that S8SMA is missing. This is actually something that needs to be added. For comparison, put your own VIN into a decoder and you will see S8SMA will be present

In most markets in the world this is automatically or routinely added to every build. However, obviously that is not universally the case, and in some markets it is possible to order a car without this specified. Presumably this is available as a privacy option.

So, looking at the VIN in the decoder, it is correct that the VIN is not displayed on the windscreen. I am not sure that this applies to the door jam or not
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      07-05-2019, 05:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post
This particular car has not been specified to have the VIN externally displayed from the factory.

Option S8SMA is the code that specifies this "Car ident number visible from the outside".

If you enter the VIN for this particular car into a BMW VIN decoder, you will note that under "Environment and Safety" that S8SMA is missing. This is actually something that needs to be added. For comparison, put your own VIN into a decoder and you will see S8SMA will be present

In most markets in the world this is automatically or routinely added to every build. However, obviously that is not universally the case, and in some markets it is possible to order a car without this specified. Presumably this is available as a privacy option.

So, looking at the VIN in the decoder, it is correct that the VIN is not displayed on the windscreen. I am not sure that this applies to the door jam or not
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post
This particular car has not been specified to have the VIN externally displayed from the factory.

Option S8SMA is the code that specifies this "Car ident number visible from the outside".

If you enter the VIN for this particular car into a BMW VIN decoder, you will note that under "Environment and Safety" that S8SMA is missing. This is actually something that needs to be added. For comparison, put your own VIN into a decoder and you will see S8SMA will be present

In most markets in the world this is automatically or routinely added to every build. However, obviously that is not universally the case, and in some markets it is possible to order a car without this specified. Presumably this is available as a privacy option.

So, looking at the VIN in the decoder, it is correct that the VIN is not displayed on the windscreen. I am not sure that this applies to the door jam or not
Amazing find & thanks for looking into that.

Each comment from you guys is shedding some very useful light on the situation. Seems more and more like a genuine car at a very good price!!

Thanks for the help so far!
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      07-05-2019, 08:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post
Option S8SMA is the code that specifies this "Car ident number visible from the outside".

If you enter the VIN for this particular car into a BMW VIN decoder, you will note that under "Environment and Safety" that S8SMA is missing. This is actually something that needs to be added. For comparison, put your own VIN into a decoder and you will see S8SMA will be present
Interesting. My car doesn't have that option. I'll have to check my VIN plates.
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      07-05-2019, 09:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summilux View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post
Option S8SMA is the code that specifies this "Car ident number visible from the outside".

If you enter the VIN for this particular car into a BMW VIN decoder, you will note that under "Environment and Safety" that S8SMA is missing. This is actually something that needs to be added. For comparison, put your own VIN into a decoder and you will see S8SMA will be present
Interesting. My car doesn't have that option. I'll have to check my VIN plates.
Neither does mine.

I'll have to speculate that is an option on EU cars only

Cars to BMWNA must have that option by default.
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      07-05-2019, 10:12 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbo mcs View Post
This particular car has not been specified to have the VIN externally displayed from the factory.

Option S8SMA is the code that specifies this "Car ident number visible from the outside".

If you enter the VIN for this particular car into a BMW VIN decoder, you will note that under "Environment and Safety" that S8SMA is missing. This is actually something that needs to be added. For comparison, put your own VIN into a decoder and you will see S8SMA will be present

In most markets in the world this is automatically or routinely added to every build. However, obviously that is not universally the case, and in some markets it is possible to order a car without this specified. Presumably this is available as a privacy option.

So, looking at the VIN in the decoder, it is correct that the VIN is not displayed on the windscreen. I am not sure that this applies to the door jam or not
Which VIN decoder are you using? I used decoder.bvzine.com and S8SMA does not appear optioned on my car, but the VIN is definitely visible under the windshield.
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