What Model Do I Have?

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I recently bought a 2001 Accord here in Canada and I am having a heck of a time figuring out exactly what model the car is.
The dealer that I bought it from was a Toyota dealer and therefore not
terribly knowledgeable about Hondas but they advertised the car as an EX-L. However, I am not sure that's a "real" model designation, as opposed to something that's just been made up. I halfway suspect that the car is actually just an EX with leather seats so they described it as an EX-L to indicate the presence of the leather seats. But I don't pretend to know what official model designations Honda Canada has set up.
I had hoped to find something in or on the car itself that told me the model but was very surprised to find nothing indicating a model on the door panels.
I was googling to find out more when I discovered a site for Honda owners that says it can determine the exact model from the VIN numbers. However, when I went to that site - https://www.ahm-ownerlink.com/ - and tried to register, it claims that my VIN is not a valid one. I'm taking the VIN from the bill of sale, which agrees with the VIN on the emissions test but the site claims its not a valid VIN. Does anyone know if this website can only validate VIN numbers for US vehicles and is not able to verify a Canadian VIN? Otherwise, my documentation has the wrong VIN on it and that might present problems with insurance and so forth.
Complicating all of this is the fact that the font Honda has chosen to use on the VIN is not the easiest to read in the first place and I have emerging cataracts, making it a non-trivial task to read the darn VIN.
If anyone knows a reliable way to determine my model, I'd love to hear it!
-- Rhino
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If the leather seats are factory, then it is an EX-L. If aftermarket, then not.
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I bought the car used so I'm not sure how to tell if the seats are factory or not. Any ideas how to determine that categorically?
-- Rhino
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What are the first 8 characters of your VIN?
There is no personal information in the first 8 characters, but leather- interior models are sometimes called out in the 4th to 8th characters.
--
Tegger

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-- Rhino
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On 26/02/2011 18:16, Rhino wrote:

You may find this interesting http://forums.hondashowoff.com/showthread.php?t 71
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It _is_ interesting. Thank you! I had hoped there would be some way of decoding the full VIN to see what else it said.
According to this, my car is an "EX 5M" since the 4th through 8th digits of the VIN are CG556. What the heck is an "EX 5M"????
And for the record, there is definitely one error in the description of the plant. It says the Honda plant in Canada has a code of H, representing Halson, ON (Ontario) Canada. That is just flat out wrong. The Honda plant is in Alliston Ontario, roughly an hour north of Toronto. I've lived in Ontario all my life and it was BIG news when the Honda plant was established in Alliston.
I have no idea how that transmuted to "Halston". There is no such place in Ontario, at least not that I've ever heard of. (There is a Halton Hills but that's the closest I can think of.)
-- Rhino
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On 26/02/2011 22:32, Rhino wrote:

Honda vins are not very informative, so don't expect to get the model code. As to the Canada plant - I agree it is in Alliston as I have visited it a few years ago.
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Somebody's not reading my replies.
I quote below, from yesterday: -------------------- CG554 = LX 5M CG564 = LX 4A CG555 = EX 5M CG556 = EX 5M CG565 = EX 4A CG566 = EX 4A CG567 = LX Special Ed. 4A
- "CG5" refers to the '99-'02 4-door Accord sedan - the fourth digit refers to the transmission (5=manual, 6=auto) - the last digit is the trim level (4, 5, or 6; low, med, high). --------------------
The actual numbers change with the model, but otherwise this is standard Honda practice.
--
Tegger

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Doesn't it say "EX-L" on the trunk lid?

That's American Honda's Owner site. Honda Canada, Inc. is a separate company, and has its own Owner site: <http://www.honda.ca/owners/website

That's right. Canadian VINs have an "8" as the 12th digit. US models have a zero. That's how dealers can tell if they have a US- or Canadian- market car in front of them.
The place for you is: <http://www.honda.ca/owners/website

No issues there. The insurance company will know the difference.

<http://www.honda.ca/owners/website
Register your car and you'll know soon enough if the Toyota dealer is pulling a fast one or not.
--
Tegger

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I'll go have a look at that....

which confirms what a Honday dealer told me previously, that it is a Canadian VIN.
One of the door plates proudly states "Made in the USA" but also has a Canadian logo on it, which I found annoyingly self-contradictory....

-- Rhino
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What's the 11th character of your VIN? If it's an "A", the car was made in Marysville, Ohio. The VIN's 1st character will be "1", "4", or 5".
The Canadian logo on it is probably Transport Canada's logo. That means the car was made to Transport Canada's regulations in effect at the time of assembly.
--
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manufacturer to Transport Canada regulations. So the "Made in USA" and the logo are _both_ right ;-)
Thanks for that information!
-- Rhino
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For what it's worth, I had a look at the trunk lid and it only says "Accord". There is no model designation at all. Given that it might have fallen off or been stolen, I had a look but couldn't see any sign that there had EVER been a model designation anywhere near "Accord" on the trunk lid: no vestiges of glue, no "shadow" of a model designation. Is it normal for 2001 Accords to be missing a model designation?
I verified the exact characters used in the VIN plate on the dash and registered at the Honda Canada owners site with that VIN. It says that my car is a 2001 Accord 4D EX-LT. I assume it found that by looking up the VIN in its internal database.
Is EX-LT a real model designation? I've never heard of that one before. Then again, I certainly don't keep up with all of the umpteen models of all the cars in the world or even just the models sold by Honda Canada.
Also, does the '8' in the 12th position of the VIN prove that the car was made here in Canada or only that it was sold here and might have actually been manufactured in the US or Japan or wherever else Honda builds cars?
-- Rhino
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The "8" refers to the market the car was intended for, not where the car was made. Your car was probably built in Marysville, Ohio.
As for the EX-L badge, if the car originally came with one (as I'm sure it did), it should be right under the "Accord" badge. It's just stuck on with tape. They do fall off on occasion, and are sometimes not replaced when bodywork is done.
--
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Tegger wrote:

I don't think I've ever seen a 6th-gen or newer Accord with a trim level badge except for "Special Edition", apart from "V6" on V6-powered versions. My '04 Civic LX never had a badge; in fact, the only 7th-gen and newer Civics I've seen with badges have been Si and "Special Edition" models.
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On 26/02/2011 18:22, Eternal Searcher wrote:

Posted this earlier, but here is better http://forums.hondashowoff.com/showthread.php?t 71
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Slightly rearranged, the relevant section reads, CG554 = LX 5M CG564 = LX 4A CG555 = EX 5M CG556 = EX 5M
- "CG5" refers to the '99-'02 4-door Accord sedan - the fourth digit refers to the transmission (5=manual, 6=auto) - the last digit is the trim level (4, 5, or 6; low, med, high).
Going by past Honda practice, I think the EX designated with a "6" has a leather interior, a sort of EX-plus.
The only problem with the above list is that Canada and the US sometimes had different model designations for the same car. For example, an "Si" in the US might be sold in Canada as an "SiR", or vice versa. It's entirely possible that Honda Canada badged the OP's car as an "EX-L", whereas American Honda may have called it an "EX". I know some previous Accord generations were available in Canada as "EX-L".
The OP needs to call his insurance company and have them verify what the VIN means. I suspect "EX-L" is correct.
--
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Damn. I missed swiping a couple of listings.
A more complete copy-and-paste, again with slight rearrangement: CG554 = LX 5M CG564 = LX 4A CG555 = EX 5M CG556 = EX 5M CG565 = EX 4A CG566 = EX 4A CG567 = LX Special Ed. 4A
You can see how the numbers increment as the trim levels change. I think "6" means "leather".
Now I'm wondering what you got with a "7" in an LX-SE. Leather carpets?
--
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The VIN is certainly right about my transmission: it's a 5 speed, not an automatic. The trim level of 'M' (presumably medium), may translate to different model numbers in different countries; it may be an EX-L in Canada and an EX-something else in the US??

obviously know much more about Hondas than I do :-)
-- Rhino
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