How to Date Model Year

I’m looking at an Accord sedan at a dealership that describes it as a 2010. Its production date is August of 2009. Is it a 2010 or the end of the 2009 model year?

Check the VIN.

Check the MSO (Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin).


Will the VIN have the model year incorporated into its numbers?


Also the emissions sticker under the hood will say “conforms to EPA standards for X model year”.

It’s 2010. They stopped producing 2009 models as late as April, 2009. I’d bet with the glut of new cars last year, production more likely stopped in February.

Two different beasts.

There’s production year and model year.

Model year for many vehicles start several months before the ACTUAL YEAR. You will start seeing new models of a vehicle coming out in September. Some rare instances like when Ford introduced the Explorer back in 1990 it was introduced in March of 1980 as a 1981 Model year.

The date of manufacturing was the date the vehicle was actually manufactured. My 4runner is a 2005 model, but it was manufactured in Nov of 2004.

Basically the Model year is used to show features. There may be distinct changes in a vehicle from one model year to the next.

Example: My 1990 Pathfinder was manufactured in 1989. The 1990 Model came with 4-doors…the 1989 Model only came with 2-doors.

The DOT and international bodies that control VIN usage and model year designation will allow a model year car to be produced no earlier than January or the previous year. In practice, almost all car makers start building the next model year’s car in July or August. So 2011 cars will start coming off the production lines in a few months.

The car you are looking at is almost certainly a 2010 model. The VIN will be definitive, and yes, the VIN does have the model year encoded as well as the country of origin and some other information.

I thought this would be on, how to date the “Model of the Year”, darn.

Well, first you need to accumulate a lot of money, preferably as an all-star athlete of some sort . . . :wink:

Ranck, how could you possibly make such a politicaly incorrect statment? too imply that the way to suceede with a beautiful woman is related to how much money you have… this is unforgivable:)

OK, so he’s not forgiven. But he’s right.

On the other hand, if the OP is trying to date a car, he’s a little twisted himself. Most people chose to date other people.

It’s February. The 2011 models should be coming out any time.

Seriously, Mike’s right. The model year and the year of manufacture are different things.

And, seriously, the 2011 models should be out any time now.