Each character or digit has a particular purpose.
They are as follows:
The first character vehicle identification number (VIN) serial number identifies the country from which the vehicle was manufactured.
First vehicle identification number digit: U.S.A.(1 or 4), Canada (2), Mexico (3), Japan (J), Korea (K), England (S), Germany (W), Italy (Z)
|Accuracy Check Digit|
- Second vehicle identification number digit specifies the manufacturer. Audi (A), BMW (B), Buick (4), Cadillac (6), Chevrolet (1), Chrysler (C), Dodge (B), Ford (F), GM Canada (7), General Motors (G), Honda (H), Jaguar (A), Lincoln (L), Mercedes Benz (D), Mercury (M), Nissan (N), Oldsmobile (3), Pontiac (2 or 5), Plymouth (P), Saturn (8), Toyota (T), Volvo (V).
- Third vehicle identification number digit indicates the vehicle type or manufacturing division.
- Fourth through eighth vehicle identification number digit reveals the vehicle features such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc.
- The ninth vehicle identification number digit is a VIN accuracy check digit, verifying the previous VIN numbers. This is how the check digit works/
Assign to each number in the VIN its actual mathematical value and assign to each letter the value specified for it in the following chart:
Multiply the assigned value for each character in the VIN by the position weight factor specified in the following chart:
VIN POSITION AND WEIGHT FACTOR:
Add the products from steps 1 and 2 and divide the total by 11.
The numerical remainder is the check digit which would appear in the 9th position in the VIN. If the remainder is 10, then the letter “X” is used for the check digit.
Tenth vehicle identification number digit tells the model year. 1988 (J), 1989 (K), 1990 (L), 1991 (M), 1992 (N), 1993 (P), 1994 (R), 1995 (S), 1996 (T), 199 7(V), 1998 (W), 1999 (X), 2000 (Y)——2001(1), 2002 (2), 2003 (3)
Eleventh vehicle identification number digit reveals the assembly plant for the vehicle.
The twelfth to seventeenth vehicle identification number digits indicate the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled of the manufacturers assembly line.