Now all Model Y VINs can be decoded using the official NHSTA decoder. VINs are the Vehicle Identification Numbers, used to indicate when and where the car was manufactured and some of the vehicles’ characteristics.
We’ll decode Model Y VIN 5YJYGDEF2LFR00942 here as an example.
The first three digits of the VIN, “5JY,” indicates that the vehicle was manufactured by Tesla, as 5YJ represents Tesla’s World Manufacturer Identifier. All Tesla VINs begin with 5YJ.
The fourth digit is the model type, so Y for Model Y. It was “S” for Model S, and, well, you get the idea.
The fifth digit, or Body Type and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is “G,” a new entry for Tesla. Tesla Model 3s used “E” for “Sedan, Left Hand Drive” and “F” for “Sedan, Right Hand Drive.” The Model Y has NHTSA’s “Sport Utility Vehicle/Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) body class type, and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Class of 1D: 5,001 – 6,000 lb (2,268-2,722 kg).”
The sixth digit, “D,” is for the restraint system, listed as “Type 2 manual seatbelts (FR, SR*3), PODS.” Driver and passenger have front, knee, and side airbags.
The seventh digit indicates fuel type, “E” for electric. According to the TMC VIN Wiki page, all Teslas since August 1, 2015, have used “E” but before that, there were different letters to indicate battery size.
The eighth digit here, an “F” for motor/drive unit, also appears to be new for the Model Y. In this instance, it means a Model Y Dual Motor — Performance.
The ninth digit is a “check digit” function that NHTSA uses to prevent fraudulent VINs.
The tenth digit represents the model year and is standardized by NHSTA. All vehicles from all manufacturers made in 2020 will have an “L” here, an “M” for 2021, and so on.
The 11th digit is plant of manufacture, “F” for Fremont.
The last six digits, 12 to 17, are the sequence number. This VIN includes an “R” at the beginning, which Tesla uses to indicate “release candidate.”‘