Audi VIN Bungle Under Investigation


Audi is under investigation yet again…this time for Audi VIN information

GERMAN legal experts probing Audi’s involvement in the Dieselgate affair have uncovered a bizarre mystery. They say they’ve found documents suggesting that thousands of vehicles exported to China, Korea and Japan may have been issueed with identical vehicle identification numbers (VIN).

The discovery, reported by the German business journal Handelsblatt, was made after the German Transport Ministry accused the company of cheating on emissions testing for 24,000 Audi A7 and A8 diesels.

According to Handelsblatt, Audi’s auditors had the documents about duplicate Audi VINs because they were assessing a “risk of discovery.”

However, an Audi spokesman said: “We are not aware of the fact the VIN numbers have been issued more than once.”

So it’s a ‘fact’?

VIN numbers are supposed to be unique to each vehicle, with 17 digits and capital letters that identify that vehicle’s DNA — including features such as where a car was built, the model year and engine specifications. They’re used to track recalls, ownership histories, registrations and thefts, among other things.

Under EU and German laws, VIN numbers are supposed to remain unduplicated for at least 30 years.

Investigators told Handelsblatt they were puzzled as to why Audi would produce vehicles under common VIN numbers.


Bill Buys fell in love with cars at age 8, when he saw one of his relatives racing in a Bugatti in South Africa. He has driven, raced and/or rallied just about every vehicle from Autobianchi to Zundapp since he was first published in the UK’s Motor Sport magazine, in 1956. He is now probably Australia’s oldest (or, if you prefer, most experienced) motoring writer.