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B. Petition for Rulemaking

In a letter dated October 31, 20054, the SAE Vehicle Identification Number/World

Manufacturer Identifier Technical Committee5 petitioned NHTSA to make certain changes to the

current VIN system. The committee proposed “minor revisions” to Part 565 that it believed

would both preserve the current 17-character VIN format while significantly expanding the

universe of available unique manufacturer identifiers and VINs (At NHTSA’s request, SAE

submitted a subsequent letter dated February 23, 20066, clarifying certain items in the original

petition). The petition proposed changes that would keep the current 17-character VIN, but

would add to the characters that may appear in some of the VIN positions for passenger cars and

multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 4536 kg

(10,000 lb) or less, thus adding significantly to the number of available unique VINs for these

vehicles. In addition to changes that would expand the number of available manufacturer

identifiers and VINs, the petitioners asked NHTSA: (1) to add to the Part 565 list of vehicle

attributes those that must be communicated in, and decipherable from, the VIN of a low speed

vehicle (LSV); (2) to clarify the way the “check digit” as defined in Part 565 is determined; (3)

to expand the restraint system information that must be decipherable from a passenger car VIN;

and (4) to add language that further explains the typefaces permitted for a VIN. The petitioners

further proposed that these changes take effect beginning with the 2010 model year due to

concerns over the supply of manufacturer identifiers and the possibility of duplicate VINs being

issued beginning with that model year.

4 5 Docket No. NHTSA-2007-27830-0030 Organizations represented on the committee included: General Motors, International Truck and Engine Corporation, RL Polk & Company, The Hill Group, Freightliner Truck Division, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, American Suzuki Motor Corporation, Harley Davidson Motor Company, Motorcycle Industry Council, Ford Motor Company, Transport Canada, National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), DaimlerChrysler Corporation, and NHTSA. Representatives from Clifford Thames IMS in the United Kingdom, the Highway Loss Data Institute, and Caterpillar, Inc. also participated.


Docket No. NHTSA-2007-27830-0031

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