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How To Decode a VIN  Prior to understanding how VIN decoding works, it is important to know what it is all about. The gist of the problem is that GM treats the vehicle attributes section (position 4,5,6,7) differently depending on whether it is a truck or a car. Normally what I do is design my own crude ETL process to import the data into an RDMBS - each table roughly correlates with the major VIN breakdown. To look up a VIN is simply a matter of querying the VIEW with each major character code position breakdown of the VIN string. Having worked in this industry, first, asking a question like this on SO is way out of the ballpark.
Based on your answer to my comment regarding if you can identify the type of vehicle by using other values, a possible approach could be to have a master table with the common fields and 2 detail tables, each one with the appropriate fields for either cars or trucks. As for DML SQL you would only need to control prior to insert or update sentences whether you have a car or a truck model. Of course you would need to make sure that only one detail exists for each master row, either on the car detail table or on the truck detail table. Why you do not define both of these rules for the decoding; only one will resolve a valid result.


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All photographs and text by Brian Chang appearing in this picture page are the exclusive property of Brian Chang. 19-Feb-2011 06:01Is it possible the "Z" really is a "2" and therefore this is a 2002 model year? 19-Jun-2008 16:40manufacturers do not use an "I" or a "Z" because they can be confused with a 1 or 2 respectively. Brian Chang15-Feb-2008 13:33I have no other information on the 10th digit and therefore have no idea what year "Z" would be. 29-Oct-2007 07:26Grateful if you can explain why Japanese Automobile Manufacturers are now using character "Z" as the 10th digit in VIN Code.
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IMHO it would be better to return different data structures for cars, trucks, motorbikes, caravans, etc.
Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination. The formal VIN started in 1981 since before that there were different formats used by different manufacturers. There are common elements that they all share (weight, number of wheels, colour, etc.) but you should model it on what is in the real world. The standardization of the numbers was done to get rid of chances of similar VIN’s appearing.
The digits that are found on car VIN indicate the year the vehicle was manufactured, assembly point, country of origin, model as well as other important details that will prove helpful in its identification.



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