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The mystery of the unknown BMW Vin number

June 8, 2013

Many months ago I took out a 380 ECU out of my E30, expecting to find a 153 ECU, that I changed with a 173. The Vin sticker on the ECU reads:


It seem that this VIN does not exist? When I search the last 7 digits in realoem/BMW ETK I get an 1986 535i m30 e28 HOWEVER when I decode the vin here: http://www.rtsauto.com/bmw-vin-decoder-see-what-options-your-bmw-came-with-from-the-factory/

I find out that what Realoem and this decoder is decoding vin number:


Notice that the 7 last numbers are the same?

Carfax, and other similar decoders are also unable to decode WBATE5FFHA1716242

No 7 last digits of any BMW is supposed to be the same, leaving a big mystery:

The Vin sticker is clearly authentic, is not worn and seems to be original to the ECU.

Got a response from BMW Germany on this:

Thanks for your Mail.
WBATE5FFHA1716242 is not the VIN of your Car.
The Sticker on the Side show many more information.

Here the explanation:

WBATE5FFHA << That is a internal General VIN 1716242 << BMW Partnumber of the control unit C81E << internal code for programming Likely this ECU was a replacement. IMG_1943



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