The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is modifying the method of creating and interpreting VINs beginning in 2009 for the 2010 model year and beyond. These proposed modifications will necessitate an adjustment in the structure of the file we provide for VIN validation. This revised file will not be of the same structure as in the past so it will be necessary to modify your VIN validation system to accept this revised file.
Until there is a final ruling by NHTSA and we are provided an interpretation of the proposed rules by the manufacturers, we will not know specifically what those changes will be.
We are having internal discussions as to the most likely paths the manufacturers will take but, quite honestly, the manufacturers simply have not finalized their plans for implementation. We are in continuous contact with sources for this information.
There is nothing you need to do at this time. We simply want to assure you that we are fully apprised of the situation and will communicate the necessary changes just as soon as is possible.
The Automobile Red BookTM, The Truck Blue BookTM and Clymer Powersport Vehicle Blue BookTM have the highest VIN validation record of any provider of VIN validation software. We fully intend to maintain and improve on that lead.
The following details pertinent information gleaned from NHTSA proposal NHTSA-2008-0022.
VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #115 dealing with a common or similar vehicle identification number went into effect with all vehicles manufactured after September 30, 1980. Notable changes have been made to that standard in order to extend the usefulness of the system beyond the 2009 model year.
The proposed rule was published on April 30, 2008. The complete document can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=090000648053d45f. Search for NHTSA-2008-0022.
There are petitions from interested parties requesting reconsideration of the final rule that will affect how systems interpret the VIN. Until NHTSA acts or chooses not to act on those petitions we cannot finalize our plan for changes nor communicate those changes to our customer base.
There are three notable proposed changes in the new VIN structure that affect VIN deciphering systems:
1. The make may only be identified after looking at positions 1-3 and another position as determined by the manufacturer in the second section or 4-8 segment of the VIN.
2. In order to identify exact year in passenger cars and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 or less one must read position 7 as well as position 10. For passenger cars, and for multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lb or less, if position 7 is numeric, the model year in position 10 of the VIN refers to a year in the range 1980-2009. If position 7 is alphabetic, the model year in position 10 of VIN refers to a year in the range 2010-2039.
3. The model year for vehicles with a GVWR greater than 10,000 lbs. as well as buses, motorcycles, trailers and low speed vehicles may no longer be identified within a 30-year range. VIN characters 1-8 and 10 that were assigned from 1980-2009 can be repeated beginning with the 2010 model year.
We are continuously monitoring the NHTSA site and have commented (NHTSA-2008-0022-0004) on the negative effect these proposed changes may have on those systems that utilize VINs to populate vehicle information.
In the meantime, you can access our most current information regarding this issue by clicking here.
I will keep you posted.