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Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) System

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automobile reference to decode the vin number of various automaker including Audi(A), BMW(B), Buick(4), Cadillac(6), Chevrolet(1), Chrysler(C), Dodge(B), Ford(F), GM Canada(7), General Motors(G), Honda(H), Jaquar(A), Lincoln(L), Mercedes Benz(D), Mercury(M), Nissan(N), Oldsmobile(3), Pontiac(2or5), Plymouth(P), Saturn(8), Toyota(T), VW(V), Volvo(V)
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Content Preview
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) System
Country of
1 2 3
United States; Canada; Mexico
General Motors
Chevrolet; Incomplete Chevrolet Truck; GMC; Incomplete
GMC Truck; Chevrolet Multi Purpose Vehicle; GMC Multi
Purpose Vehicle; Cadillac Multi Purpose Vehicle
3001-4000/Hydraulic; 4001-5000/Hydraulic; 5001-
GVWR/Brake B C D E F G 6000/Hydraulic; 6001-7000/Hydraulic; 7001-8000/Hydraulic;
8001-9000/Hydraulic; 9001-10000/Hydraulic; 10001-
14000/Hydraulic; 14001-16000/Hydraulic
Conventional Cab/4x2; Conventional Cab/4x4
Half Ton; ¾ Ton, 1 Ton; 1/2 Ton Luxury; 3/4 Ton Luxury; 1
1 2 3 6 7 8 Ton Luxury
Four-Door Cab/Utility; Two-Door Cab; Suburban/Denali XL
Body Type
3 4 6 9
Two-Door Utility; Extended Cab/Extended Van
V U T W G (LR4) 4.8L Gas; (LQ4) 6.0L Gas; (LM7) 5.3L Gas; (L35) 4.3L
Engine Type
Gas; (L18) 8.1L Gas; (LB7) 6.6L Diesel
Check Digit
Check Digit
Model Year
Oshawa, Ontario; Pontiac, Michigan; Fort Wayne, Indiana;
1 E Z J G F
Plant Location
Janesville, Wisconsin; Silao, Mexico; Flint, Michigan;
Experimental Engineering Manufacturing
Plant Sequence
Plant Sequence Number

Tips to understanding your VIN number:

Starting in model year 1954, American automobile manufacturers began stamping and casting identifying
numbers on cars and their parts. The vehicle identification number has become referred to as the "VIN".
The obvious purpose was to give an accurate description of the vehicle when mass production numbers
were starting to climb in very significant numbers. Research has shown that early Vin's came in all sorts of
variations which depended on the individual manufacturer at that time.

Starting in model year 1981, the National highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S. Dept. of Transport)
required that all road vehicles must contain a 17 character VIN. This established the fixed VIN system for
major vehicle manufacturers as it is known today. Thus, establishing a unique "DNA" style number for
each unique vehicle which rolled off the assembly line.

In 1985, the Department of Transportation issued the Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard to
try to reduce the number of motor vehicle thefts. This standard became effective beginning with model year
1987 vehicles and required that high-theft cars have 12 to 14 of its major component parts marked with the
VIN. In 1994, the Theft Prevention Standard was amended to include multipurpose passenger vehicles and
light-duty trucks. Also in 1994, NHTSA published the final rule amending the Theft Prevention Standard to
also list the covered major component parts and replacement parts to be marked for each of the classes of

vehicles: the engine, transmission, front and rear bumper, right and left front fender, hood, right and left
front door, right and left rear door, sliding cargo door(s), right and left quarter panels, right and left side
assembly, pickup box, and /or cargo box, rear doors, decklid or hatchback and tailgate. The effective model
year for this amendment was 1997.

The 17 character VIN is decoded as follows:

1st character- Identifies the country in which the vehicle was manufactured.
For example: U.S.A.(1or4), Canada(2), Mexico(3), Japan(J), Korea(K), England(S), Germany(W), Italy(Z)

2nd character- Identifies the manufacturer. For example; Audi(A), BMW(B), Buick(4), Cadillac(6),
Chevrolet(1), Chrysler(C), Dodge(B), Ford(F), GM Canada(7), General Motors(G), Honda(H), Jaquar(A),
Lincoln(L), Mercedes Benz(D), Mercury(M), Nissan(N), Oldsmobile(3), Pontiac(2or5), Plymouth(P),
Saturn(8), Toyota(T), VW(V), Volvo(V).

3rd character- Identifies vehicle type or manufacturing division.

4th to 8th characters- Identifies vehicle features such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc.

9th character- Identifies VIN accuracy as check digit.

10th character- Year of Manufacture.
G = 1986
H = 1987
J = 1988
K = 1989
L = 1990
M = 1991
N = 1992
P = 1993
R = 1994
S = 1995
T = 1996
V = 1997
W = 1998
X = 1999
Y = 2000
1 = 2001
2 = 2002
3 = 2003

11th character- Identifies the assembly plant for the vehicle.

12th to 17th characters- Identifies the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled of the
manufacturers assembly line.

Document Outline

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) System



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