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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Perfectly useless information. Just passing the time till delivery...

I’ve received my VIN and wanted to know what it may reveal. I have looked at several dealer sites and VIN info sites and here is what I am coming up with. None of this is official, it is just me hacking at decoding.

The VIN is 17 digits like:

4S4WMALDxxxnnnnnn

The first 3 characters, “4S4” indicate it was bullt at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive Plant
The 4th character, “W” is the “line type”. “W” indicates Tribeca and now also Ascent
The 5th character, “M” is the “body style”. “M” is shared with other Subarus and now also indicates 1st generation Ascent
The 6th character, “A” is the “engine type”. “A” must indicate the new 2.4 boxer turbo?
The 7th character, “L” is the model as follows
“A” - 8 passenger base
“B” - 8 passenger Premium standard #11
“C” - 8 passenger Premium option #12
“E” - 8 passenger Premium option #14
“F” - 7 passenger Premium option #12
“H” - 7 passenger Premium option #14
“J” - 8 passenger Limited standard #21
“L” - 8 passenger Limited option #23
“M” - 7 passenger Limited standard #21
“P” - 7 passenger Limited option #23
“R” - 7 passenger Touring standard #31

The 8th character “D” is the “weight class”, “D” indicating Class D (GVWR 5001-6000 lbs.)

The 9th thru 11th characters - I’m not sure

The last 6 are the serial number of the individual vehicle


Thiis represents my guess on VIN info. Corrections welcome.
 

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Position 9 is the check digit
Position 10 is model year ‘K’ is 2019 ‘L’ is 20... so on
Position 11 is assembly plant/trans type
Position12-17 sequence production number

Check number is used to ensure computer reads vin as valid. Not sure off the top of my head but each vin equals a specific number when computed.

Fun fact: looks like the Ascent shares some vin characters with the Tribeca.
 

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You beat me! I’m 2936
 

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Ordered Feb. 28. Last 4 VIN: 2990
 

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My black Premium from Massachusetts, last four of VIN 0429. I had a preorder, but I needed towing, so upgraded to one they had coming with mine. Don't know the preorder VIN.
 

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You do know that the VIN is sort of arbitrary and has no significance? The VIN has only been standardized in 1981 and before that, manufacturers had their own number system. Now a VIN can be useful; it would be one way you can prove that your car was once owned by Elvis Presley. I once owned the very first Austin Mini 850 sold in this country, but the serial numbers anywhere on the car did not by themselves have a way of indicating that. I was the second or third owner at the time. VIN can be real important especially when you are hunting down repair parts. Once the guy behind the counter had to know the VIN because of a mid-year change. It is always a comfort to hear that your car was built after the exploding transmissions were superseded with ones not made out of recycled pop bottles. It is funny how we get about numbers. Recently, when I got my licenses plates for my Subaru BRZ, I realized how close I came to getting "123*BRZ". Well, not that close, but it got me thinking. How cool would that be when someone asks for the license number, "One two three, Bee Are Zee", unless you are in Australia where you would say "Bee Are Zed".

What if you take a close look at your VIN and it had what you consider your 'unlucky' numbers in it? One time I got a receipt at a hamburger place and I was customer '666'. My grandmother had an apartment on the 14th floor at Madison and 35th in New York City. The truth is when you look at the buttons in the elevator, there is no '13'. To prove that numbers are completely arbitrary, I suggested to a co-worker while we were at coffee break at a place that had a state lottery Keno game, that we use numbers found in our wallets. Serial numbers from money, credit cards, driver's license and car registrations; the usual birthdays and anniversaries never turn up a winner. He won money in two consecutive tries. So much for my argument for things being random.
 

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If I have a VIN, has the car been produced?

I have a VIN # and a VON # with a scheduled date of 6/28/18. Does that mean the vehicle has been produced and is waiting for shipment?
 

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I have a VIN # and a VON # with a scheduled date of 6/28/18. Does that mean the vehicle has been produced and is waiting for shipment?
Not necessarily.

The VON was assigned when the car was ordered, so those can be months old.
The VIN is assigned by the central computer when they start to plan on building the car - typically, but not always, about a week or so before they actually DO build the car.

Scheduled date is when they planned on building the car - it does NOT mean the car is completed. For some reason, we're NOT seeing on our system at the dealership level the 'completed' status, so we KNOW the car has come out the west end of the plant and is waiting for accessories and then shipping. All we CAN see is Scheduled, and then at some point that status changes to Shipped Rail. I've got two cars that were scheduled for 06/29 and have had no updates on their status all week. So they may still be on the line, they may have intended for them to come out of paint shop and at the last minute they just emptied the line and the painted bodies are still sitting in paint, they may not have even started welding the body together. (Which from the time they start doing that until the time the car goes into paint is about 4 hours, then however long it takes in paint, then 4 hours in trim and final for it to get assembled.)

Yeah, it's been a bit frustrating trying to keep things up to date for customers.
 
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