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My 2018 Passenger was rear ended and subsequently repaired by a local "Mercedes-Benz authorized body shop," whatever that means. I had two such shops to pick from and used the shop that assured me they had the equipment/computers/software to scan the van pre- and post-repair for any stored codes that may have resulted from the collision. None found.

The damaged area was visually minor, being limited to a deformed bumper cover and bent trailer wiring socket bracket, but I felt the hitch needed close inspection as it is a critical safety component when deployed for towing. Obviously.

The repair was completed. After getting the van home, I got underneath the repair area for a closer look because the trailer wiring socket still looked bent. I found that the bumper cover that was used had been cut, trimmed, ground, whatever, to fit around the factory hitch. Not enough cover material was removed, however, to fully clear the hitch. The cover is sort of wedged in, making contact with the hitch. The OE cover most certainly was not like this.

I guessed that the shop used a cover that was for a van not built with the Q24 trailer hitch option. I assume that there are multiple part numbers for the 447 rear bumper covers: primed, black, hitch compatible, park sensor equipped, others. Was the wrong part used in this instance? I have hard time believing that a single part number exists and covers are modified post production/pre delivery according to the build spec.

I followed up with the body shop. I also called the MB dealer that I purchased the van from to verify the part number against the VIN. The parts person provided the same part number as was on the invoice provided by the body shop. 44788500389999. The MB dealer parts person assured me this was correct. Is it?

Not closely inspecting the van was my fault. It seemed a pretty straight forward remove and replace operation. Can any forum member help me with finding the correct part number, or explain EXACTLY how the van is assembled in Vitoria and the remaining steps and processes it goes through as it passes through the port? Example: is the hitch installed on the assembly line, or at the MB processing center in the U.S.? The specific bumper cover part would surely have to be compatible with the hitch. Or are they really hand cut to fit?

Thanks for any help or ideas. This forum is a real asset and really helped me spec my build and get the van exactly as I wanted. Love the Metris!
 

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I followed up with the body shop. I also called the MB dealer that I purchased the van from to verify the part number against the VIN. The parts person provided the same part number as was on the invoice provided by the body shop. 44788500389999. The MB dealer parts person assured me this was correct. Is it?

Not closely inspecting the van was my fault. It seemed a pretty straight forward remove and replace operation. Can any forum member help me with finding the correct part number, or explain EXACTLY how the van is assembled in Vitoria and the remaining steps and processes it goes through as it passes through the port? Example: is the hitch installed on the assembly line, or at the MB processing center in the U.S.? The specific bumper cover part would surely have to be compatible with the hitch. Or are they really hand cut to fit?
I believe there are eight different part numbers representing the eight different combinations of color (black or primed for paint), parking sensor (with or without) and blind spot detection (with or without).

To my knowledge, the presence/absence of a trailer hitch is not a variable.

Your P/N, 44788500389999, was primed for paint and without accommodations for parking sensor or blind spot detection.

I think the cutout for the hitch is, in fact, cut to fit. According to user braddo:
I finally got the hitch installed today, the process was pretty straight forward. There are lines on the bumper showing you where to cut.
The ideal time to have cut the bumper was before painting it. I think you need to go back to the body shop.
 
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