According to what I have read about the vehicle identification number encoding (model year)

One consistent element of the VIS is the 10th digit, which is required worldwide to encode the model year of the vehicle. Besides the three letters that are not allowed in the VIN itself (I, O and Q), the letters U and Z and the digit 0 are not used for the model year code. The year code is the model year for the vehicle.

However in the documents about a Fiat Qubo vehicle I read this VIN: ZFA225000-0-0138627

It appears to me that it contradicts the rule, as its 10th digit is a either 0(zero) or O(letter oh), of which both should not appear here, (i.e. I read the VIN visually and hence the uncertainty about the 0/O situation, which either way should be "wrong", right?)

Not only wikipedia, but also this source https://researchmaniacs.com/VIN/VIN-Decoder.html mentions 0/O being not correct in that location.

Background: The VIN is from an Italian car, from an Italian manufacturer, offered to me in Italy, from an Italian person.

Hence I imagine:

  1. Wikipedia and the other source being inaccurate (i.e. 0 may appear in the 10th position of the VIN), or
  2. Fiat made a mistake
  3. The documents are maybe counterfeit?
  • 1
    You should check with Fiat (easy as you seem to be in Italy) and with the Police and/or the vehicle licensing / registration authorities.
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 28, 2019 at 9:48
  • FWIW the given VIN checks out as a Fiat Qubo. Mar 28, 2019 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


The Wikipedia link you gave says clearly that

  • There are (at least four) different standards for the VIN.
  • The EU and North America use different standards.
  • The European standard does not have explicit "model year" and "plant code" fields. Characters 10-17 simply provide "clear identification of a particular vehicle".

FWIW my Fiat (bought new from a reputable UK dealer) also has a zero in position 10 of the VIN.

Since in the UK (at least) the VIN is included on national databases (e.g. vehicle registration and annual safety checks) it is highly unlikely that "Fiat made a mistake" either globally, or on one individual car (or two individual cars, if you claim my VIN is also wrong!)

  • 1
    When I was at one of the "large" car manufacturers - we would de-code the VIN into groups of 3 letters and could completely decipher the original build specification of the vehicle - which radio, speakers, seats, trim, color of carpets, paint & finish etc
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 28, 2019 at 9:51
  • @SolarMike Manufacturers can use the VDS part of the VIN (which shows "the general characteristics of the vehicle") any way they like. Presumably that is what you were decoding. The question is not about that field. Apart from the Manufacturer code (ZFA=Fiat) all the rest of my VIN is numeric.
    – alephzero
    Mar 28, 2019 at 9:55
  • yes, we were taking the numeric part to decode.... It was a comment and from the vin we could tell which plant produced a specific vehicle... Which caused some embarrassment once to management...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 28, 2019 at 10:00
  • @SolarMike, in my version of English "letters" are not "numeric." But whatever.....
    – alephzero
    Mar 28, 2019 at 10:01
  • 1
    Another question related to IVECO (which is part of fiat, right) also features a 0 within the 10th place. It seems hence to be common. The Europeans seem to not use the VIN checksum either, so neither model year, nor checksum in European VIM, but hey (we got ourselves into censorship-online-filters too, it might be that EU is not so smart ;) Mar 28, 2019 at 10:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .