About 3 weeks back I gave $1000 for a Toyota Rav4 Limited Hybrid at the dealership who promised me that i will get one in their list and he showed me the list. I took a copy of the list which showed the VIN number with some codes for the features included. Now yesterday the sales persons manager told me that the VIN number changed in the car. He provided me a new list with what looks like same model and features. However now he says i will get 8 days from now which does put it within 1 month that he promised. But i find the changing VIN number weird. Is he just keeping me on the hold. My name does appear in the notes section in the list. Does the VIN number change like this? $1000 is just a deposit towards the full payment once i receive the actual vehicle. This has been an inconveinence to me my wife and 18 month old, driving back and forth. Manager and another manager were laughing at us and saying that they can change the list at any time and if you want you can take your $1000. This after holding it for 3 weeks. I am talking about Bay Area, Calif, USA.

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    They probably sold your car to someone else and now assigned you a different one. VINs don't change (legally).
    – Aganju
    Apr 3, 2016 at 0:21
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    @Aganju Yes. This almost certainly means they're giving him a different car, not that they changed the VIN on the car. I don't know what country OP is in, but in the US, altering a VIN is illegal -- and about the only reason to do it would be if the car is stolen or you are pulling an insurance fraud. But, "Oh, we accidentally promised the same car to 2 people, we'll have to give you a different one", or "We gave your car to a more important or higher-paying customer, but we'll give you the next available car" -- that's quite plausible.
    – Jay
    Apr 3, 2016 at 6:17
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    why are you putting a deposit down and waiting weeks or months for a specific vehicle? The nearest dealer to me has 42 Rav4 Limiteds in stock. Apr 5, 2016 at 0:31
  • vehicle in question is a 2016 Rav4 Limited Hybrid Black exterior color
    – Dude
    Apr 5, 2016 at 2:58
  • they still have 11 Black Rav4 Hybrid Limited. You should be able to find one without waiting. If the closest dealer doesn't have one they should be able to get one in days though their network. Apr 5, 2016 at 9:58

1 Answer 1


They probably sold your car to someone else and now assigned you a different one. VINs don't change (legally). – Aganju

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    I posted as community wiki because I think this comment is a good answer.
    – Alex B
    Apr 3, 2016 at 18:06
  • I went to a different Toyota Dealership (B) put a deposit of $500 there and I asked back my $1000 deposit from the one (A) who said VIN number changed. A is about 3 miles from my home and B is about 10 miles from my home. I lost 21 days because of the mischief at A and now i have to drive additional 7 miles to get to B. B says it will take minimum 60 days and maximum 9 months to get the vehicle. Also me my wife and 18 month baby had to suffer because of their mischief, driving back and forth to A and B. I am driving a 2 door coupe with my wife and 18 month daughter.
    – Dude
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:05

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