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Sweet n' Lowdown
2006 Scion tC
16,189 Posts
In doing research I've found there are a lot of differences in what people have listed on various websites concerning the matter of decoding Toyota VIN, these differences tend to occur between the 4th and the 8th digit. Those sections are noted by a "?". To the best of my ability I have put together the most accurate description possible. If you notice any in accuracies of have any additions please feel free to post them.

- Model Years 1982-1995+

The VIN (Vehicle Identication Number) is usually shown under the windshield. On vehicles made before 1989, an ID plate including the engine model, color code, trim code, axle code, and transmission code is on or next to the firewall (on vans, under the carpet below the front of the front passenger seat). On vehicles made in 1989 or later, an ID label with that information and the production date (but not the engine code!) is on the inside of the driver's door or on the lower part of the driver's door pillar.

Digit 1 - World Manufacturer Identification

1 = USA
2 = Canada: TMMC
3 = Mexico
4 = USA: TMM
5 = USA
J = Japan

Digit 2 - Manufacturor

T = Toyota

Digit 3 - Vehicle Type

2 = Passenger car
3 = Multipurpose passenger vehicle
4 = Truck
5 = Incomplete Vehicle
6 = Bus

?Digit 4 - Vehicle Description Section


?Digit 5 - Engine

A = 4A-FE
B = 7A-FE
T = 5S-FE

?Digit 6 - Series


?Digit 7 - Body Type or Passenger Restraint System

0 = ?
1 = Manual Belt
2 = Manual Belt w/ Airbag

?Digit 8 - Model

E = Corolla
T = Celica

Digit 9 - Check Digit

Digit 10 - Model Year

A = 1980
B = 1981
C = 1982
D = 1983
E = 1984
F = 1985
G = 1986
H = 1987
J = 1988
K = 1989
L = 1990
M = 1991
N = 1992
P = 1993
R = 1994
S = 1995
T = 1996
V = 1997
W = 1998
X = 1999
Y = 2000
1 = 2001
2 = 2002

Digit 11 - Plant

O = TMC - Supra plants
C = TMM - Ontario, Canada
Z = NUMMI - Fremont, California
U = TMMC - Gergetown, Kentucky

Digits 12-17 - Plant Production Sequence

Free OnLine VIN Decoder

1998 Toyota Camry LE
13 Posts
Very interesting indeed, my Camry's a JT2 car. Lately, I've noticed some Toyotas and Lexus cars from Japan to read "JTD" as their 1st 3 digits of their VINs. What's the "D" about?

132 Posts
oh 1st gen celi's were so much simpler haha

example :
TA22L-MZ-NN the modelcode is split in 3 basic groups in which every character has a distinct meaning.
The first group TA22L- is a basic vehicle identification code.
The second group -MZ- lists options of the vehicle like autotrans, sportspackage and such. In this example only 2 characters are used, but 3 or 4 are no exception to the rule.
The third group -NN defines the trim level like LT,ST,GT and such. Both characters are singled out as exterior/interior code characters but will not be separately quoted since the trim level is always equal for both. Meaning something like you can't have a GT exterior with an LT interior.
An additional 3rd character L or R can be grouped behind these two characters defining left or righthand side drive. And now for a bit more detail;

TA22L-MZ-NN The first character in this- example theT represents the series of the engine used in the car. Toyota used 2 different series of engines for the Celica being the T and the R series engines.

TA22L-MZ-NN Second character is the only constant character in every Celica. It stands for chassistype A. This is the chassis Toyota used to base their Celica and Carina models on.

TA22L-MZ-NN Ah yes the type designation. More significant type changes of the Celica were marked by a change in the type designation. Basically you could bring it down to this;

**20*-**-**Coupe. Economy class. Came with the T and the 8R engine Dec ' 70 through Aug.'72
**21*-**-**Coupe. Not sure yet, suspecting it's the US equivalent of abovementioned type. Came with the 18R engine.
**22*-**-**Coupe. Built Dec'70 through Sept '75.Most significant change in fillercap placement to meet new safety regulations.
**23*-**-**Coupe. The 22 successor. Built Sept'75 through Late '77. Most significant change is the slightly longer nose section.
**24*-**-**Coupe. US version of the Celica. sporting safety bumpers and R-series engines only. Built? Dunno, again any info on this topic is appreciated.
**25*-**-**Liftback. Japanese domestic variant and predecessor of the export liftbackmodels. launched April-73. Since it was relieved by the 28/29 mid '75 logic suggests it was not in production more then 2 years. Came with 18R series engine only.
Most significant detail, the 5split taillights which were unique for this type.
**27*-**-**Liftback. Same as the 25 liftback, launched April-73, came with 2T series engine only.
**28*-**-**Liftback. Most common none U.S. model. Launched mid '75 right till the end in '77. Featured the 23 types long nose section.
**29*-**-**Liftback. U.S. version of the 28 Celica. Launched mid '75 right till the end in '77. Safetybumpers and R-series engines only. Special environmental gripes to make the cleaner for some states.
**30*-**-**Liftback. Domestic Japanese Celica. 77only. High luxury standard. Most significant detail, the TTCN (Toyota Total Clean System) which involved some gripes to the engine to make it meet Japanese emission standards
**35*-**-**Liftback. Domestic Japanese Celica. 77only. Basically the same as the 30. lacking information on differences between those two yet.

TA22L-MZ-NN Drive side. L stands for Lefthand drive. R for righthand drive.

TA22L-MZ-NN Info on this part varies too since after 10/75 some of the codes including this Z became obsolete. Most commonly accepted explanation as follows:
Z Tandem master cylinder brake system (ST) package. Became obsolete as all post 10/75 were standard equipped with this feature.
K 4 speed manual gearbox
M 5 speed manual gearbox
H 3 speed auto transmission
U Unleaded fuelsystem
Q GT suspension, brakes sport package
G Rearranged enginebay to suit the twincam engines.
C Californian regulations clean burn type.
X Uprated suspension package, used on GTV's. It is also used for some other post 7510 models sold to markets where roads could be poorer (unsealed)

TA22L-MZ-NN The trim code
G GT (Japan)
E GTV (Japan)

(A ST {U.S.})

Courtesy of

2,901 Posts

My Cressida's old VIN.

4th Digit - M - signifies an M-series motor; in this case, the 5M-GE.

5th Digit - X - Not so much the Model, but the CHASSIS. In this case, it's X... other cars that shared the X chassis included the Mark II, Chaser, and Cresta.

6th Digit - 7 - signifies the series. In this case, the 7th of the X chassis.

7th Digit - 3 - signifies the model number of this 7th series. 0 and 1 were JDM Mark II/Chaser/Cresta models, 2 was the wagon, and 3 was the export Cressida sedan.

Things probably got complicated and differed when double-letter engine names came around, cause for example, you can't have a MZX73 in the VIN for argument's sake if it had a 1MZ-FE - it just won't fit in the digits you're allotted.

1,353 Posts
?Digit 4 - Vehicle Description Section


?Digit 5 - Engine

A = 4A-FE
B = 7A-FE
T = 5S-FE

?Digit 6 - Series

?Digit 8 - Model

E = Corolla
T = Celica

Free OnLine VIN Decoder


1 - Japan
2 - Toyota
3 - S series engine
4 - W, MR2
5 - 2, Generation
6 - Model, 1 - NA, 2 - Turbo
7 - Part of vehicle description system
8 - See above
9 - Check digit
10 - Model Year

Items 3-6 complete your chassis code, usually.

Digit 4 - Engine Series
A - 4AFE, 4AGE, 7AFE, etc.
M - 5MGE, 7MGE
R - all R engines (20R, 22R, etc.)
2000+, moved to 5th digit:
F - MZ
G - 5SFE
These are usually found in the model code, I don't know the single letter in the VIN for these:

Digit 5 - Chassis Code
A - Supra (ex. JZA80)
B - Camry (2000+, BFxx)
C - Solara (2000+, CG22)
E - Corolla (ex. AE86, ZZExx)
T - Celica (ex. ST185, ZZTxxx)
W - MR2 (ex. SW21, ZZW30)
X - X Body platforms including the new Mark X, others: Cressida, Mark II, etc.

Fill yours in

Digit 6 - Model/Body type
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