U.S. will run out of vehicle ID numbers.
The auto industrys number is almost up.
The 17-digit codes that identify the origin, make, model and attributes of
cars, trucks, buses even trailers worldwide will be exhausted by the end of
And like an odometer that returns to zero and starts over again, a Vehicle
Identification Number or VIN could be duplicated.
Experts say duplicated VINs would cause havoc for repair shops, state
license offices, insurance agencies, law enforcement and other groups that
use VINs to process warranty claims, investigate accident claims and
recover stolen vehicles.
Weve been brainwashing law enforcement and the insurance community and
virtually everybody that a VIN is like DNA theres one for any one vehicle,
said Ed Sparkman, spokesman for the Chicago-based National Insurance Crime
At the root of the impending shortage is the explosion of vehicle
production in recent decades. Automakers build 60 million cars and trucks
every year and each one needs a unique VIN in the same way a newborn is
given a Social Security number. And that doesnt count heavy trucks,
motorcycles and other vehicles that require VINs.