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Don't seen report on AP, but found this (archive)

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Posted by DavidB on January 09, 2000 at 00:02:53:

In Reply to: Can't Believe all you read on Side Air Bag Recall! posted by Bob ///M3 on January 08, 2000 at 21:13:05:

: Found this story from the end of November:

GREER, South Carolina (AP) _ A federal agency that polices vehicle identification numbers is investigating the way BMW assigns Germany's code to cars made at its plant here.
The Z3 sports cars and X5 sport-utility vehicles _ models made only at the Upstate South Carolina plant _ have the designator ``W'' at the start of their VINs instead of the U.S. ``4'' assigned to the factory.
The U.S. National Insurance Crime Bureau records the VIN of all vehicles made for U.S. sale. The information is used by police and insurance investigators.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the switch, local media reported Tuesday.

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