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 The original online guide to the Volkswagen Cabriolet & Rabbit Convertible!

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General Info


VIN Locations

What the Z's Mean

Chassis Number

UK "regs"


1981-1993 Decoder

1980 Decoder


How the Check Digit is Calculated


Your Car's Build Date


VIN Decoders


Last update:

February 22, 2014


Notes





1981-1993 Cabriolet VIN Decoder

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17


W

V

W

C

A

0

1

5

5

G

K

1

2

3

4

5

6

Country of Manufacture:

Germany


















Vehicle Manufacturer:

Volkswagen AG


















Vehicle Type:

Passenger Car


















Model Type:

A = 2 Door Base

B = 2 Door Custom (1993)

C = 2 Door Custom (1980-1992)

D = 2 Door Carat (research shows that D is also found on other models, albeit in limited number)

E = 2 Door Etienne Aigner (Limited Edition)


















Engine Type:

A = Lowest Output, Gas: 1718cc 78hp 4 Cylinder (EN); 1780cc 90hp 4 Cylinder (JH)

B = Lowest Output, Gas: 1780cc 94hp 4 Cylinder; Digifant II (2H)

C = Lowest Output, Gas: 1780cc 94hp 4 Cylinder; Digifant I (2H)


















Restraint System:

0 = Active (manual seat belts)

5 = Active with driver airbag


















Model:

Rabbit Convertible, Cabriolet, Golf Cabriolet



































Internal Check Digit/Code


















Model Year:

B - 1981          J  - 1988

C - 1982          K - 1989

D - 1983          L - 1990

E - 1984          M - 1991

F - 1985          N - 1992

G - 1986          P - 1993

H - 1987


















Assembly Plant: Karmann factory in Osnabrück, Germany


















Sequential Production Number (aka Chassis Number)


















1980 Cabriolet VIN Decoder












1

5

A

0

8

1

2

3

4

5

Model:

Rabbit Convertible, Cabriolet, Golf Cabriolet





















Model Year:

A - 1980











Restraint System:

0 = Active (manual seat belts)











Internal Check Digit/Code











Sequential Production Number











VIN Locations

  • Dashboard: driver's side at windshield
  • Door plate: driver's side, below strike pin
  • Build sheet: white sticker on crossbar in trunk, driver's side
  • VIN stamp: rain tray in engine bay, underneath black water deflector, passenger side (note: this VIN contains four filler digits; see the section below for further information)
  • Various parts (1988-1993): Clipper kit, hood, trunk lid, etc. have VIN stickers on them


Click here for an illustration of the above


What the Z's Mean

VINs outside North America, and the VINs found stamped into the rain tray of all Cabriolets, contain four "Z"s.  For North American Cabriolets, these are merely filler digits. The rain tray VINs were standard issue as the cars rolled off the initial phase of the assembly line; the only difference between these standard-issue model-year VINs is the sequential production number.   Locations outside of the USA & Canada do not require the same VIN information (many locations, including Europe, still require only a 13-digit VIN) and, therefore, use filler digits during stamping to make the initial assembly process easier and faster.


For example, if 30,000 Cabriolets were built for the 1985 model year, the first Cabriolet built for that year would have WVWZZZ15ZFK000001, while the last 1985 Cabriolet would have a WVWZZZ15ZFK030000 stamped into the rain tray.  As the cars went through final assembly, they received their official, individual VINs based on their destination; it was at this time that North American Cabriolets obtained their non-"Z" VINs, while cars destined for sale in Europe received the "Z" VIN on the door plate, the dash plate and on the build sheet.  Using the same example, that first 1985 Cabriolet was destined for, let's say, the USA; it's official VIN would be WVWCA0158FK000001 (the internal check code varies and may not actually be an 8).  The last Cabriolet for 1985 was destined for, let's say, Italy; it's official VIN would be WVWZZZ15Z030000.  Two build sheets are shown here (with the last 4 digits blurred for security reasons), so that you can see the differences between these official VINs.



If you doubt the above information, it was all verified by Volkswagen AG: click here to see the official letter. (Thank you so much to Gail W. for providing this letter and its translation! Gail had an issue in being able to transport her Cabriolet from Germany to the USA because of the VIN "discrepancy". This letter was issued to Gail from Volkswagen AG, providing official verification regarding the "Z" information outlined above.)


Your Car's Chassis Number

Many times parts are dependent upon your car's chassis number, which is VIN-dependent.  Your car's chassis number is the sequential production number for your car's model year.  An example of this would be the 1984 mid-year change: If you own a 1984 Rabbit Convertible, you'll need to know the chassis number in order to know if your car uses an in-tank fuel transfer pump.  The chassis numbers would be listed as follows:

To 15-E-11290

From 15-E-11291


The "15" is not always used.  The "To E-11290" would indicate the part is for all Rabbit Convertibles up to 1984 (E) with VIN sequential production number of 11290.


UK "regs" Deciphered

August to July

A reg = 1983          G reg = 1989

B reg = 1984          H reg = 1990

C reg = 1985          J reg = 1991

D reg = 1986          K reg = 1992

E reg = 1987          L reg = 1993

F reg = 1988

How the Check Digit is Calculated

Step 1:  Assign nemerical values to all digits.  Numbers 1-10 retain their values.  Letters are assigned the following numerical values:


A = 1          J = 1          T = 3

B = 2          K = 2          U = 4

C = 3          L = 3          V = 5

D = 4         M = 4         W = 6

E = 5          N = 5          X = 7

F = 6          P = 7          Y = 8

G = 7          R = 9          Z = 9

H = 8          S = 2


Step 2:  Assign a weight value to each digit based on its position.





Step 3: Multiply each digit's numerical value by its weight value.








Step 4: Add the results (products) from step 3 and divide by 11.  The resulting remainder is the VIN check digit; if the remainder is 10, the check digit becomes an "X" in the VIN.


In the above example, the result is 346 / 11 = 32 with remainder of 5.  The 5 is the VIN check digit.


Position

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Value

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

10

0

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

VIN

W

V

W

C

A

0

1

5

5

G

K

1

2

3

4

5

6


Value

6

5

6

3

1

0

1

5

0

7

2

1

2

3

4

5

6


Weight

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

10

0

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2


Result

48

35

36

15

4

0

2

50

0

63

16

7

12

15

16

15

12

346