Craigs
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:07 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2016
Location: Portland, OR

Is my Leaf stolen?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:54 pm

I actually bought my 2013 Leaf back in April of 2016. When I ran Leaf Spy on it, Leaf Spy showed a different VIN than the one on the dash. I figured it must have been a factory problem and didn't give it much more thought until a few nights ago. Anyway, I was watching Youtube and I saw a video about a used car scam where someone copies the VIN off a car they find in a parking lot. Then they go out and steal a car exactly like it, even down to the paint color, replace the VIN with the one they copied and sell the car. They must claim to the DMV that they lost the title, but the video doesn't go into that. The result is that if the police trace the car to you, it might be towed away even though you were just a victim.
Now I'm thinking maybe I should get rid of my car. Did anyone else have Leafspy results like this when you first bought your car?

LeftieBiker
Posts: 8770
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:44 pm

Carfax may record reports of theft. Then there is this free service, which is very good:

https://www.vehiclehistory.com/vehicle/land.php
Last edited by LeftieBiker on Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

cwerdna
Posts: 7823
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:35 pm

I've never had a non-matching VIN issue. The VIN displayed in Leaf Spy on my original leased Leaf and the used one I bought match with what's visible thru the windshield and on the sticker on the door side.

Besides Carfax and Autocheck, which aren't free, there is https://www.nicb.org/how-we-help/vincheck.

You don't have the Obscure VIN setting in Leaf Spy enabled, right? (It's not on by default.) That feature alters some characters in the VIN besides making some totally invalid (e.g. lowercase a and b).

Also, starting many versions again, the field for the VIN alternates between the VIN and the battery serial number. I stumbled across this and got an answer at viewtopic.php?p=493308#p493308.

'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

DarthPuppy
Posts: 616
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2013

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:45 pm

Craigs wrote:Now I'm thinking maybe I should get rid of my car.


Umm, 'getting rid' of a car that you think is stolen is legally problematic. Note - I'm not a lawyer. However, most means I'm aware of for 'getting rid' of a car involve selling it or donating it, both of which are transfers where you are asserting that you own the car. If you sell stolen goods to an unsuspecting third party when you know or suspect the goods are stolen, you've probably just committed a crime.

Again, I'm not a lawyer. But your best bet is likely to remain the innocent victim and confirm whether you are indeed a victim by consulting a Nissan dealer who will be able to verify if the car's VIN has been altered. IIRC, cars have the VIN recorded in multiple places throughout that the dealer will be able to access but a car thief is not likely to go to the trouble to access and alter them all. The electronics is likely one of those. Thinking the car is stolen and not confirming and continuing to use it as if nothing is wrong might also be a crime. So I wouldn't delay on getting this check done.

As it sounds like it may be stolen, clear your personal belongings out before taking it in for this check in case you can't get access to it if it is identified as stolen. And save any documentation you have regarding how you bought it and from whom as I imagine the proper authorities will want this info. And if you bought for a small amount of cash from some guy in a dark alley, you messed up big time.
'13 Leaf SL
'18 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV

DarthPuppy
Posts: 616
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2013

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:48 pm

Hopefully cwerdna is right and you just aren't getting the data correctly from the tool.
'13 Leaf SL
'18 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV

RonDawg
Posts: 2787
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 am
Delivery Date: 11 Jan 2013
Leaf Number: 027089
Location: SoCal

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:14 am

While VIN cloning does occur, I don't think a Leaf is a desirable enough car to make it worth the effort for a thief.
Blue Ocean 2012 Leaf SV, lost that 1st bar on 11/21/2015 at 26,435 miles.
Lease returned on 12/23/2015. Final LeafStat figures: 225 Gids, 17.44 kWH, SOC 91.89%, SOH 82.36%, 69.49% HX, 54.57 Ahr, battery temp 61.8 F
Now driving a 2015 VW eGolf SEL

Craigs
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:07 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2016
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:09 pm

I'd like to thank LeftieBiker and cwerdna for the links to the VIN check sites. Both my VINs came up negative for being reported stolen. I can sleep easier now.
I checked to see if I had obscure VIN checked off in Leaf Spy. I did, but when I turned it off, I got the other VIN still.
The help file said that on the cell page one of the items listed is VIN/batt #.
I developed a theory that most of the Leafs have a battery installed at the factory that has the same serial number as the VIN on the car, but for some unknown reason my car received a battery that did not have the same number.
Darth Puppy: Thanks for your input. I never would have thought of that, but I think your're probably right. Don't worry, I don't plan to "get rid" of the car now.

cwerdna
Posts: 7823
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:27 pm

Craigs wrote:I checked to see if I had obscure VIN checked off in Leaf Spy. I did, but when I turned it off, I got the other VIN still.
The help file said that on the cell page one of the items listed is VIN/batt #.

To be clear, Leaf Spy Pro on Android used to only list the VIN. It can be obscured and thus will display an invalid VIN (some characters replaced with non-sensical ones). A valid VIN for a US-built car should begin with 1, 4 or 5 followed by N for Nissan. All the characters should be either numbers or capital letters.

See https://www.carfax.com/blog/vin-decoding and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_i ... Components. There was discussion long ago when Leafs for the US market were made in Japan and thus began with a J at viewtopic.php?t=1473.

When the obscure VIN setting is turned OFF, the current version of Leaf Spy Pro for Android and all the versions from around April or May 2017 forward (viewtopic.php?p=493308#p493308) will show the both the VIN and the battery serial number in the same field on the screen w/all the cell voltages. The VIN and battery serial # alternate back and forth.

The VIN that you see should match what you see on the driver's side door sticker, what's visible thru the windshield on the driver' side, and the paperwork when you bought the car. If there's a mismatch between any of these, that's a red flag. All of these should begin with 1N.

Would be interesting to buy a Carfax and Autocheck report for your VIN.

My VIN begins with 1N4AZ0CP. I'd expect yours to, as well.

My battery serial number begins with 230SM11.

Leaf isn't made in Canada. A VIN starting with 2 implies made/assembled in Canada. My 5/2013 built Leaf should have a battery that was made in Tennessee.
Craigs wrote:I developed a theory that most of the Leafs have a battery installed at the factory that has the same serial number as the VIN on the car, but for some unknown reason my car received a battery that did not have the same number.

I doubt this is true. @Turbo3 can probably better comment on this.

Also, not all countries use VINs. In Japan, vehicles for those markets don't have or don't generally have VINs.

'13 Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

Please don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Craigs
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:07 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Apr 2016
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Is my Leaf stolen?

Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:39 pm

The first 8 digits of both of my VINs are the same as yours. It's only the last 6 digits of the Leaf Spy VIN that are different. The three spots you mention are in agreement so I think I'm okay. I'm using Leaf Spy for IOS and I've found that there do seem to be some problems since the directions were written for Android. For instance, I don't get an alternating car VIN and battery serial number on the cell screen. Only what it says is the car VIN. The dealer did show me the carfax and it had the same VIN as the one on the dash.

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