Your VIN Number

As provided by Bugsike, from the main Club DSM digest.

Here's what I know about VIN's:

The first digit = Country (4=US)
Second digit= Make, E=Eagle, A=Mitsu, P=Plymouth
Third Digit= Vehicle Type (3=Car)
Fourth Digit= Seat Belts? (B=Manual, eh C=Auto)
Fifth Digit= Line (S= all FWD models, T= all AWD tel, Galants= ? - Can anybody tell me this for sure?)
Sixth Digit= Price Class (Higher number=higher trim, My TSiAWD is 6-Any others out there?)
Seventh Digit= Body Style (4=Hatchback)
Eighth Digit= Engine (T or B=1.8L, R or E=2.0L N/A, U or F=2.0L T/C) - (T,R,U used thru 92; B,E,F 93 on- Are there more?)
Ninth Digit= A check digit. Derived by a "secret formula" to verify the other data. I don't know the formula, or if it's just a lookup for year, model, etc.
Tenth Digit = Year, A=1980, B=1981. They skipped I and O, so J=1988 and P=1993. Let me know if other letters were skipped.
Eleventh Digit= Plant (K= DSM in Normal, IL)
Last Six Digits= Serial Number, Assumably sequintial, but some manufacturers use encoding of more data here, e.g. I think Harley used only even number in even years. DSM may incorporate some such system as well.

Lets use a made up example: 4A3BS44T3LExxxxxx (Commas seperate digit info)
This would be a US made, Mitsu, Car, Man. Belts, FWD, #4 Price Class, Hatchback,1.8L,(Check Dig 3),1990,from Normal IL. Really old cars don't have 17 digits. (I had a '48 Diamond-T once, the lady at the sec. of state couldn't get the computer to accept the number :-))

I compliled this a couple years ago from various sources (mostly service manuals), and I may not be correct. If your VIN doesn't follow this system, let me know and I'll update. I got started on this when the dealer put the wrong VIN on my Talon title (They made a typo, VIN on car was correct). The cops ran the numbers off my registration/insurance info and were ready to impound my new (used) Talon.

Luckily, the VIN on the car was OK, and the officer explained the number system to me. I think he said the digits apply to all cars (w/ appropiate codes),
not just DSM. You could do like I did, and let the police tell you your car has a bad title, or you could verify the info yourself.

I was always going to try and make a FAQ of this, or even a program to return model info, but I've been too lazy. I guess I'll do it if people start sending me codes.Could even work on the paint/trim code (Seperate #)

Happy Motoring