Since most of the VIN decoders I have seen listed are all from earlier VINs which have since changed in meaning as VW introduced more engine options, bodystyles, platform sharing, and the fact that the letter “Y” denoted the model year, and “Z” had been designated for no use (what to do for 2002, 03, and beyond model years?).
So here is what I was able to learn about the newer VW VINs. If anyone has definitive information otherwise, please let me know…this was my own research. Though I am fairly confident this is a thorough and correct description of the VINs, there could still be something I missed!
Some spots in the VIN are used by all manufacturers, while others may be set by the manufacturer according to their own internal coding. Spots 1-3 are reserved for the World Manufacturer Indexes for all manufacturers, spots 4-9 are different for each manufacturer, spots 10 and 11 use codes shared by all manufacturers, and 12-17 are the production number of your car.
I will list the definition of each digit of the 17-digit VINs one at a time below, with the possible letters or numbers which are used for that spot (the VIN is running vertically here to make it easier to list everything). The codes below all refer to VW (plus some Audi) only:
1. Manufacturing Country (1 = U.S., 3 = Mexico, 9 = Brazil, W = Germany)
2. Manufacturer (V = Volkswagen, A = Audi, S = VW of Brazil)
3. Vehicle Type (W = VW Passenger car, U = Audi Passenger car, 1 = Pickup/Truck, 2 = Multi Purpose Vehicle)
4. Body Type (P = Sedan, N = Wagon, B = Coupe)
5. Engine Type (A = Lowest HP for model, B = Middle lower HP, C = low HP, D = Middle HP, E = upper HP, F = Middle upper HP, G = Highest HP)
6. Restraint Type (6 = driver, passenger, and side airbags)
7, 8. Body Type (3A = Passat, 3B = New Passat, 1C = New Beetle, 1E = Cabriolet, 1G = A2 Golf and Jetta, 1H = A3 Golf and Jetta, 1J = A4 Golf and Jetta)
9. Insert number, not denoting anything
10. Model Year (W = ‘98, X = ‘99, Y = ‘00, Z or 1 = ‘01, 2 = ‘02, 3 = ‘03, etc.)
11. Manufacturing Plant (E = Emden, W = Wolfsburg, P = Mosel, M = Mexico, A = Ingolstadt, P = Brazil, Y = Spain)
12-17. Your production number.
That’s it. I checked it out on my W8 Variant (WVWNG63B23E******), and it seems to fit.
Checked out my co-worker’s Cabrio (WVWBD61E1YW******), and it works.
Checked a co-worker’s Jetta (9VWPD61J22P******) which was apparently manufactured in Brazil!! (A 2001 Jetta 1.8T 5-speed Wolfsburg Edition). Both VINs fit the code, with the surprising revelation that not all Jettas and Golfs in the states come from Mexico!
Anyway, hope that is helpful!