Decoding Tesla Model 3 VIN

Tesla Model 3


Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

Due to the start of Model 3 production, Tesla sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which makes decoding its vehicle identification numbers (VIN) a piece of cake.

Thanks to Teslarati, we now have the full explanation regarding how to decode the Model 3 VIN, or any Tesla VIN. Yes, you can use the same format to figure out details about the Model S and X. Teslarati reported that a white Tesla Model 3 release candidate’s VIN ended in 000316. This was assumed to mean that Tesla has built over 316 release candidates thus far. Tesla’s letter to the NHTSA reads (via Teslarati):

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 SN 1

“Tesla intends to begin regular production of a new carline, the Model 3, starting July 2017. Model 3 will be released into commerce as a MY2017 vehicle and pursuant to the requirements of § 565.26 Reporting requirements, Tesla Inc. hereby is submitting the updated VIN decoding information for MY2017 vehicles. The submission adds a new vehicle line (Model 3) to its already existing MY2017 vehicles lines (Model S and Model X).”

Every Tesla vehicle has a VIN number beginning with 5YJ. All automakers have their own unique World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI). The fourth digit tells which model it is. So for instance, 5YJ3 is a Model 3 and 5YJS is a Model S. The entire VIN contains a total of 17 digits. Below is the decoder in order of digits:

1-3: WMI as explained above

4: specific model; S, X, 3

5: Body Type and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

A – hatchback, five door, left-hand drive

C – MPV, five door, left-hand drive, Class E

E – sedan, four door, left-hand drive

6: Vehicle Restraint System

1, A, B, and D – all have various Type 2 manual seat belts with front airbags, PODS, side inflatable restraints, knee airbags

7: Fuel Type

E – electric

8: Motor/Drive Unit

1 – single motor, standard
3 – single motor, performance
2 – dual motor, standard
4 – dual motor, performance
A – single motor, standard
B – dual motor, standard

9: check digit to be assigned by manufacturer pursuant to 49 CFR § 565.6(c)

10: model year

H – 2017

11: assembly plant

F – Fremont, CA

12-17: serial number

Source: Teslarati

Categories: Tesla

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9 Comments on "Decoding Tesla Model 3 VIN"

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Allowing only 6 digits in the serial number implies their intent to produce less than a million cars a year. Compliance car!!!

/s (I know they can build more factories.)


Oddly enough (or not), that was my first thought, too: What if production exceeds 999,999 in a year?

I suppose they can always add a digit at the end, altho if there are computer programs set up for only 17 digit VINs — and speaking as a computer programmer, that’s almost certainly the case — then that’s going to wreak havoc with data bases!

The first digit of the serial number can be a letter so that adds a lot of combinations. It is normally the ‘stage of production’ ie. S for Signature, R for release candidate.

They are limited to 17 chars but as Scot indicated the 12th character can be alpha-numeric so they are limited to 34,000,000 vehicles of specific make and model as O and Q are not allowed.

They can use that to their advantage though advertising that a very limited quantity (34,000,000) of the high performance dual motor make are available.

If they actually hit that limit at a single factory I’m sure they could make use of a second factory designation to indicate which half of the factory it was produced in.

Gasbag wins.

So, is this allowed?
or: the first VIN is vehicle #1 of a single motor standard, and the second VIN is vehicle #2 of a single motor performance. If that is valid, then you actually have 1mil per year per type, in this instance maybe 10mil vehicles of your manufacture the maximum of every type.
We did this in manufacturing all the time.

“So, is this allowed?

Not only is that allowed it is required….but I think your check digits are off. I think your first one should be a 5 and the second a 3.

6 digits of hexadecimal, perhaps.
16 million leaves a bit of room for growth.

Interesting that battery capacity is not indicated in the S#?