2003 Accent: old vs. new model

Hi all.
Looking for advice here. Thanks in advance if anyone can help.
Thanks in part to this newsgroup I've been surfing the Internet for info on Hyundai. I still plan to seriously look at an '07 Elantra for
my next car, when the new Elantra finally hits the streets. (Should not be long now.)
Anyway, a local reputable used car dealer has several used Hyundais for sale. Just for fun, I looked up all the info I could find about all of them. The 2003 Accent piqued my interest. There's at best an outside chance I would seriously consider buying an Accent, since it's just too small, but....how does one tell if an '03 Accent is an 'older' or 'newer' version?
It's important because the newer version gets much better marks for safety in NHTSA crash testing. We're talking better by a wide margin here, for reasons that are not clear to me.
The NHTSA site lists the cut-off date as Dec. 20, 2002 and Jan. 5, 2003, respectively, for the two crash test results that changed. I know the factory sticker on the car door or wherever should provide the month it rolled off the assembly line....but as far as I know it does not give the precise date.
Is there any way to tell from the sticker, the VIN or whatever, just when the car was assembled? The first few digits of the VIN on the car in question are: KMHCG45.
Also the model I looked at from the local dealer has side airbags, which were optional for the '03 Accent. Does that by itself mean the car is a later release model and does the presence of side airbags by itself mean the car gets the newer, much higher crash test scores?
Sorry if these are silly questions. I'm still feeling my around the online world of Hyundais and cars in general.
Thanks and regards, Eric M
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Eric wrote:

There's a plate on the frame around the driver's door that gives the date of manufacture and other information. IIRC, it's also included in the VIN, though I don't recall how to translate it. If you do a Google search on "VIN", you should find resources for deciphering the code.
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According to technical service bulletin 03-90-021:
"Early production 2003 Model Year Accents (before January 06, 2003 production) are not equipped with side impact airbags."
www.hmaservice.com
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hyundaitech wrote:

Thank you and Brian Nystrom for the info.
So, any '03 Accent that has side air bags is a "later release" model with the much better side crash test rating. That's good to know. I've seen varying opinions on how much stock to place in crash test scores, but in this case the difference is striking.
The Accent is still probably just too darn small for me consider buying, but at least now I know what car I'm looking at. (Maybe the confusing model year stuff runs in the extended family. It took me awhile to figure out the "2004.5" Kia Spectra.)
Thanks and Regards, Eric M
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hyundaitech wrote:

It would be even a better friend if it worked with Netscape. I couldn't even get it to work with IE two evenings ago when I tried to view the Elantra brake system. The text came up, but the pictures just has the "broken picture" icon in each frame.
Matt
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Matt Whiting wrote:

That seems to happen occasionally, but in general it works fine as long as you use IE. I agree that it's truly stupid to not make it usable with other browsers. It also really sucks that you have to use the assigned password and cannot change it. Considering that the site is open to the public, what's the point of heavy-handed security.
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Brian Nystrom wrote:

Especially when the password is VERY cryptic and not easily remembered. Netscape remembers my passwords for me, but I don't trust IE/Windows with this as they are too easily hacked.
Matt
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