The number should be right there in front of the radiator. Thats a ton of paint! May be the radiator support was replaced? Nothing at then driver's side wiper area? I'll take a pic of the areas where my #s are stamped if it helps.
Are you sure there is nothing is this area?
The rad looks to be pressed right up against the area where you would usually find it. Going to be rad with the rad in place
Here's a pic of the radiator support and cowl. There is blue masking tape directly over the numbers for highlight. Hope this helps!
Thats where they are on your car, and I'm sure many others... But there was no official spot, it could be anywhere on the upper radiator support... So if he focuses on where your's is he may miss the stamping...
What did they use, A state issued number or the real VIN number from the body?