Vehicle identification numbers are now standardized - all contain
17 characters. VIN characters may be capital letters A through Z and numbers 1
through 0; however, the letters I, O and Q are never used in order to avoid mistakes
of misreading. No signs or spaces are allowed in the VIN. The first three characters
are referred to as the "World Manufacture Index" (WMI), the next set of six characters
are referred to as the "Vehicle Descriptor Section" (VDS), and the remaining characters
are referred to as the "Vehicle Identifier Section" (VIS).
After searching many times on the Internet for a full explanation,
I came to the conclusion that there was much misinformation, confusion, and contradiction
concerning VW's VIN. The meaning and explanation of many of the fourth
through eighth character had many different opinions all depending upon who's
magic VIN decoder one was using. Nobody seemed to know for sure what they were
talking about. I then stumbled across a set of official VW documents that explained
the entire system. The secret was that the meanings of several numbers have changed
all depending upon what particular year the VIN applied to. So it all became perfectly
clear to me that all those magic VIN decoders on the Internet just plain don't
work. There is no one set of rules or explanations that will explain the VIN
for every year.
If you want to know the meaning of your VIN, simply click on
the appropriate model year of the PDF documents show below. The VW production
year runs from August to July so a car manufactured in October 1992 will be a
1993 model according to the VIN. Of course, if you aren't perfectly clear just
what year your VIN really is, then a short little course in de-mystifying the
VIN is in order.
To determine the actual year of the VIN, simply look at the
10th character of your VIN, and consult the chart that follows the sample VIN.
Then click on the appropriate PDF file for that for a full detailed explanation.
|VIN Character - Model Year Codes
In this case, the sample VIN indicates that it is for a 2000
model year vehicle.
Use the following yearly charts to determine the specifics of
any given VIN. For Rialta owners, the 4th character of the VIN which indicates
the model series, such as "EuroVan 3dr GLS", will not be found on the chart.
This means that the body style was "an unfinished chassis" which is perfectly
correct to the vehicles that were shipped to Winnebago for assembly as Rialta