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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for an EX-L RES, with many thanks to everyone here. I've been reading the forums for a couple of months now and cannot wait to get this van! Many thanks to everybody for all the great information.

Sine I have not had any luck in finding a RP EX-L RES in the VA/MD area for immediate delivery, I have been calling North Atlanta dealers since I will be in that area next week. A couple of dealers have told me that they have this vehicle coming in this week that I can buy. One difference though is that here in No. VA I've been quoted MSRP for the van, whereas the Atlanta dealers are quoting MSRP + up to $1,500 premium. Also, the Atlanta dealers tend to bad-mouth the other dealers while I experienced none of that in VA. Interesting.

Anyway, to my question about the VIN. One dealer has givin me a VIN for a van that he is supposed to be receiving this week and the twelfth digit is a "0" (zero), indicating that it is a Canada market van (but is was built in Alabama as VIN started with "5FN"). I called Honda cust. relations and he confirmed that a "0" is a Canada model and a "5" is a US model, just like previous VIN decoder messages here state, and he wanted the dealer's info. so that they can contact them about not selling grey market vehicles represented as "new". Now, when I questioned the dealer about this, he was quite surprised and indicated that alot of there vans have a "0" and that they are definitely US models as they do not have the heated mirrors, DRL, KM spedo., etc. But, he asked about this with his service manager and confirmed that their service manual does indeed state that a "0" is a Canada model. Supposedly, he was stumped about this and is calling Honda about this as this is news to him. But, he stated over and over again that any vehicle bought from a Honda dealer will be covered under the Honda warranty at any other Honda dealer.

Well, I then called back to Honda and talked to somebody else and gave him the VIN of the van from the dealer and he told me that his computer tells him it is still in port and it is a US model!? When I questioned him about the twelvth digit indicating it is a Canada model, he could not answer why this is? He is supposed to do some research into this and call me back.

Does anyone here have any info. on whether the VIN decoding has recently changed? In my searching many dealers on the internet, I came across a couple of VINs that had the "0", but most (90% or so) had a "5".

Also, if anyone has a lead on a RP or MB EX-L RES, please let me know.

Thank you in advance,

21 Posts
Here's how to read your 2002 Odyssey VIN:

Position 1~3 =
5FN: US Honda, multi-purpose passenger vehicle
2HK: Canada Honda, multi-purpose passenger vehicle

Position 4~6 =
RL1: Odyssey

Position 7 =
8: 5 door

Position 8 =
5: LX
6: EX
9: EXL

Position 9 = check digit

Position 10 =
2: model year 2002

Position 11 =
B: Lincolin (Alabama) Factory
H: Ontario Factory

Position 12~17: serial number=
500001~ : US model
000001~ : Canada model

I think however, that 12-17 serial number should read:

000001~ : US model
500001~ : Canada model

As two examples, here are 2 VIN numbers I see at the dealer web site:

2HKRL18062H548874 = Canadian-produced EX-L RES - Serial# 548874
5FNRL18692B003206 = US-produced EX - Serial# 003206

You may want to try Curry Honda in the Atlanta area. They seem to be carrying a fairly large number of Odys (up to 16) pretty consistently.


[This message has been edited by NomoreFords (edited 02-26-2002).]

99 Posts
Interesting that you did not experience any "bad-mouthing" of one dealer by another in NOVA. I received a lot of this from all of the dealers I spoke with, all of it about one particular dealer. Lo and behold, when I spoked with previous customer of that dealership, they all confirmed what the other dealers were saying. Let me know if you decide to order an Ody from one of the dealers in NOVA...I'll gladly disclose my list of pros & cons for each that I consulted.

"You can call me anything, but never call me late for dinner!"

01 Nissan Frontier SE CC
02 MB EX-L RES (End of March)

2 Posts
I had this same concern having recently purchased a new odyssey with a "0" in the 12th position of my VIN so I called Honda Customer Service. They looked up my VIN on their computer and told me it was a US model and therefore perfectly legal- not grey market.

22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ncodyowner:
I had this same concern having recently purchased a new odyssey with a "0" in the 12th position of my VIN so I called Honda Customer Service. They looked up my VIN on their computer and told me it was a US model and therefore perfectly legal- not grey market. </font>
This is interesting. I looked at the Odysseys on Curry Honda website and all of them that are produced in Alabama have a "0" in the 12th digit. All the ones built in Canada have a "5". It would seem that the 12th digit actually is "0" for home market and "5" for out of country. But, if this is the case, Honda needs to update their service technical manuals about this.

As far as dealing with Curry Honda, any insight on their pricing and how much they "deal" or include any options? They are telling me that they should have the van I want in by early next week. Are they generally straight and honest?

UPDATE: I just received a call back from the dealer that sent me a purchase offer with the VIN in question. He received word from Honda that a VIN with "B0" (Bee-zero) as the 11th and 12th digits is indeed a US market model. So, it would seem that my conclusion above about "0" meaning home market and "5" meaning out of country would be correct. Hopefully Honda will be issueing a notice to the dealers about this.

Thanks for all the replys so quickly! This is a great group!!


1,846 Posts
CFS: Good sleuthing, and thanks! I wonder if Helm will be sending out an update to people who purchased the service manual from them.


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