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Is it legal to change a Toyota emblem to a BMW emblem? Ethical?

Toyota seems to borrow their body styling from Mercedes and BMW. A lot of people just looking at a car couldn’t tell the difference, except by the emblem. The current Toyota Corolla styling is very similar to one of the current BMW models for example. If a Toyota Corolla owner bought a couple of BMW emblems, and put them on his Toyota where the Toyota emblems are currently, front and back, I wonder, would that be legal? The idea would be to get all the BMW lady attention, but for Toyota prices. But I wonder, would he get a ticket for doing this? And even if emblem swapping is legal, is it ethical?

I really don’t see a particular resemblance between Toyota and BMW or Mercedes. All cars nowadays look somewhat similar.

A neighbor of mine put Lexus emblems on his Toyota, I assume as a joke.

Swapping things like VIN numbers is illegal, but I doubt that this applies to emblems.

It’s not a problem if you remove them, and I don’t see why replacing emblems with another brand are a problem, either. A visitor a couple of weeks ago showed us pictures of his Ferrari light pickup truck. It was really a Toyota that was painted Ferrari red and had prancing horses all over it. As long as you don’t try to sell it to anyone as a BMW there is no harm done.

Legal?
Ummm…unless you can point me toward any statutes that make it illegal to do something like this, it is not a violation of any laws that I ever heard of.

Ethical?
I’m not even going to attempt to answer that one, except to say that if someone is so shallow as to try a stunt like this in order to attract women, then he is likely to attract women who are just as shallow as he is.
In other words, they would deserve each other.

But…even more to the point…if you see a resemblance between a BMW or a Mercedes and a Corolla, you might want to consider getting an eye examination a.s.a.p.

I doubt that it is illegal but it sure is silly. As far as the lady attraction goes, I couldn’t be bothered with a woman who can’t tell a Corolla from a BMW;-)

It’s not illegal unless you are trying to scam someone into buying a car at an increased price, but to make it convincing would require an awful lot of work, anyway. Someone in my town owns a Chevy Tahoe with a Cadillac Escalade grille (I think it looks silly). As for using this tactic to get the “BMW lady attention”, most, if not all, gold diggers who would chase down the driver of a BMW because she presumes he is affluent would easily be able to tell the difference between a Toyota and a BMW without looking at the emblems and would probably just make fun of someone for doing this.

IMHO, Toyota and BMW vehicles really look nothing alike. If someone wants to put a BMW emblem on something that’s not a BMW, that’s not illegal and entirely up to them. But if the person is really trying to deceive, it’s kind of like those shallow people that stuff their bra or pants to impress. In the final analysis, the ruse is discovered when the ahh… fake item lacks the specs and/or performance of the genuine article.

It’s not illegal. But prepared to be mocked loudly and often by people blessed with the gift of sight. Few people will mistake a Corolla for a BMW. As a Mustang guy I rountinely call out wannabes who plaster their base V6 models with Cobra emblems.

Illegal? No.
Unethical? No, if if it’s being done for personal giggles only.
For those in the know it could lead to ridicule or laughter though.

A few years ago a buy bought a “rare” Mustang off of eBay and THEN started asking questions. What he bought was an early 2000s Mustang GTR.
The problem is that Ford never built a Mustang GTR and when he posted pics of the badges on the car what was shown was nothing more than a Mustang with GTR badges that can be had from AutoZone replacing the stock Mustang GT badges.
Technically speaking, a GTR is a Nissan.

I have a 2002 Dodge Dakota Sport extended cab pickup that has the puny V6 engine. When I had it painted last year the paint shop ordered a Hemi engine badge by mistake and it was on the truck when I picked it up. They knocked off the price a little for the mistake and I’m happy with it. Legal or not it stays on my truck.

@missileman : That reminds me of a vehicle that came into the shop once where I used to work. It was a bright red Dodge Caravan with a “5.7L Hemi” emblem on each front fender. The van had a 2.4L four banger under the hood. I think that was done for giggles.

You bought the car…it’s yours to do with as you please. There are tons of cars out there whose grills and emblems have been removed and replaced. It’s called customizing. Nothing wrong as many of us like our cars to reflect our personalities…we wear them as much as we drive them. Go for it.

There used to be a Toyota pickup around here that had a complete BMW 320i grille. It looked like a good installation job. The end gate had the TO and TA removed so all it said was YO.

Come to think of it, my youngest son’s red Radio Flyer wagon had a BMW roundel on the back until the glue got old and it fell off. I got it from the center of a broken steering wheel. I don’t think anyone thought it was really a BMW… He was much too young to have a real one.

Legal, sure! Ethical, sure? My name might be John but I prefer to be called Bill. Sure my birth certificate and legal papers may say John, but my name tag and all my friends say Bill. Where’s the harm?

A few years ago I worked at a shop near the local BMW dealer. BMW makes some nice cars, but nothing that could practically serve to transport more than 4 people or be used with any kind of utility in mind. So the service department courtesy shuttle van was a Chrysler minivan with all identifiable markings removed and replaced with BMW logos. The Chevy S-10 that the parts department use for delivery went further–somehow the body shop had fitted BMW grille, headlamps, front bumper and hood emblems. Neat looking truck.

If you watch car auctions on TV, this comes up a lot. Many of the cars and trucks sold are done up as if they were born as a hot muscle car. In many cases, they were not, even though they may have had a big engine added later. As long as the sellers don’t try to pawn them off as an original, there is no harm done. BTW, this means adding all the badges, and can even mean changing the paint. For instance, I have seen Yenko Camaro replicas sold, and they are dead ringers for the originals. But they are sold as replicas, and that makes it OK.

You can do it but Toyota can’t .

legal, yes
ethical, depends on which nitpicker you ask, I say it’s ok
worth the effort? It’s a waste of time, nobody will get the joke

As far as BMW lady attention or whatever, theres a real good chance that the lady will get remarks like "shes so insecure she has to badge her toyota differently to feel good about herself.

It’s your car…if you want to duct tape a nude Barbie doll to the hood, spray-paint 'er silver, and try to pass the Toyota off as a Rolls–go for it! (obviously not to a perspective buyer.)

Actually I see this happening reasonably often with Chrysler 300s that bear a passing resemblance to some Bentley or another. Wire-mesh grill and a bunch of “flying B’s”…and ta-dah! You’re a player :wink:

If it was illegal to change a car’s styling…there’d be an AWFUL lot less “Shelby Cobras” around, now wouldn’t there?

BMW and Toyota…I don’t think so. I can tell you what car it is long before I see the emblem. Same with Mercedes.

There is a similar style between many manufacturers. But there still is a difference. Some vehicles have been very close though. But they are very specific models from certain years.

You can replace all the stickers and emblems you want, no legal issues. What you can’t do is alter the vehicle title, that is where the legal issues come in. The buyer will see they are buying a Toyota if they read the title, which I presume most would do. They’d by buying a customized Toyota that’s all. You really think someone would believe a Corolla is a BMW?