Bensley Law Offices, LLC | Representing Consumers In the Philadelphia Area Since 1997

Rated By Super Lawyers William C. Bensley

National Association of Distinguished Counsel - Nation's TOP ONE Percent 2023

Rated By Super Lawyers William C. Bensley

Free Consultation

Consumer & Personal Injury Litigators

VIN etching is a dealer scam many fall for

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2021 | Dealer Fraud

A new car is among the most expensive purchases one makes, so it is understandable that a consumer will take every precaution to protect that purchase. This often means carrying as much insurance as one can afford. It may also include installing an anti-theft system, such as an alarm, to deter would-be thieves. However, consumers should be cautious about a certain dealer scam that makes false promises about the level of protection it provides.

Car buyers may be surprised to find a charge for VIN etching on the list of fees for the purchase of their new vehicle. VIN etching is the inscription of an auto’s unique vehicle identification number into the glass on the car’s windshield and each window. The justification is that an auto thief will be less likely to steal a vehicle with VIN etchings because it means replacing all the vehicle’s windows before the thief can sell the car, and that expense eats into the thief’s profit.

What’s the scam?

Car dealers may add hundreds of dollars to the sale of a vehicle for VIN etching, which costs the dealership a fraction of that amount. Additionally, the buyer may have no choice in the matter since a dealer may etch every vehicle on the lot, resulting in easy profits. Unscrupulous car dealers may tell consumers that the etching will lower their insurance rates or provide them with certain benefits from the car manufacturer if the vehicle is stolen. These statements are not always true.

Nevertheless, consumers who feel they have no option but to pay the extra fee have fallen for the dealer scam. A savvy car buyer can refuse to pay for an option he or she does not want. Although VIN etching may provide some deterrent to car theft, it is something car owners can do for themselves for far less money than what a dealer charges.

FindLaw Network
Photo of William Charles Bensley
Philadelphia Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Public Justice | America's Public Interest Law Firm
Pennsylvania Bar Association
National Consumer Law Center

Witnesses Needed

Searching for persons with information or complaints about a number of banks, dealerships, repossession agents and debt collectors

Click Here For More Information

Email The Firm

Contact The Firm

Office Location

1500 Walnut Street
Suite 900
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Philadelphia Office
Toll Free: 800-254-3497

Phone: 267-838-9654

Fax: 267-299-8079