Tesla is currently the biggest Electric vehicle manufacturer in the world, with factories in multiple cities on major continents.
They have two factories in the USA, the first in Fremont, California, and the second in Austin, Texas.
The Tesla Austin factory recently started production of model Ys and the cyber-truck, and this has led to a surge in customers wanting to know if their vehicle orders are from the new plant.
You can identify if your Tesla Model Y is from the new factory in Austin by checking its VIN. The vehicle identification number, aka VIN, is a unique 17-character string that contains valuable information about a vehicle. You can know if your Tesla is an Austin unit if the 11th letter in the VIN is “A.”
So, let’s dive into the world of EV manufacturing. We will analyze the methods you can apply to identify an Austin VIN and compare the features of Teslas built in Austin and Fremont.
How can you Identify a Tesla Austin VIN?
Tesla Model Y owners can quickly identify if their vehicle was built in Austin by looking at the letter on the 11th digit on their VIN.
VINs don’t just identify who made your Tesla; you can also glean valuable information about the vehicle.
The VIN can also Identify the type of drive train your Tesla has, whether RWD or AWD. It also shows if your vehicle is a standard or long-range version.
Here is a table explaining the 17 characters in a VIN and their meaning.
|First three characters
|Body type and GWR rating
|Safety restraint type
|Type of fuel used
|Drive unit Identification
|Twelfth to seventh character
|Vehicle unique serial number
Nevertheless, if you don’t care about that and want to know how to identify a Tesla Austin VIN, you can check the following.
Your Tesla VIN is the first indicator to point directly at its factory of origin, whether it is Austin or Fremont.
All vehicles on the road, whether electric or Gas-powered, have VINs used to identify them.
One of the best things about Tesla is that you get to know the VIN your vehicle has if you pre-ordered it.
Ordering online enables you to customize your Tesla to suit your needs. You can select the type of interior trim you want and the color of the vehicle.
So, after pre-ordering your Tesla, you can check the VIN to see what factory made it.
The 11th letter in the VIN marks the manufacturing plant. The A stands for Austin, B for Berlin, C for Shanghai, and F for Fremont.
#2. Manufacturing Date
The manufacturing date of the Tesla Model Y can also be an indicator pointing to its manufacturing origins.
Tesla opened the Austin factory in April of 2022 to focus on manufacturing model Ys and behind-schedule cybertrucks.
If your model Y was manufactured post 2022-2023, there’s a high chance it is Austin-built.
#3. Stamp Location
Tesla owners can also know if their car is Austin-built by identifying where the VIN on the body is.
Like all vehicles, you can find the VIN on the dashboard through the windshield, but you can also find it in other places around the vehicle.
The location where you find the VIN depends on the factory building it.
Shanghai-built model Ys have the VIN stamped on the car’s floor, and you can see it by raising the carpet and moving the chair backward.
After removing the covering trim, the VIN is on the rear passenger door sills for Berlin model Ys.
Fremont Teslas have their VINs on the right of the raising door pillars after removing the inner trim.
How do you Check a Tesla VIN?
You can check the VIN of your Tesla by looking at the windshield on the dashboard, checking online during pre-ordering, using the touchscreen, or with an OBD II Scanner.
There are many ways to check a vehicle’s VIN, and Tesla EVs are no exception.
Tesla will assign a VIN to your vehicle when it is ready, and they will alert you with an email or a notification on your Tesla profile.
You might need to log in to your profile frequently to check if your VIN is available, so take note.
Here are some of the methods Tesla owners can employ to check their VINs before and after delivery.
#1. Online Checking
The first chance you will get to see your Tesla VIN is online on your profile through the order information.
Tesla usually updates the page when the vehicle is ready, which might be a notification or email.
If you want to know the VIN your vehicle has, you can log in and refresh the page daily or wait for the confirmation email.
#2. Checking Stamp Location
There are three physical locations on a Tesla where you can find the VIN stamped on. They are the dashboard, door sills, and the floor underneath the mat.
These locations might vary based on the Tesla’s manufacturing plant, but you will always find the VIN stamped on one of these surfaces.
#3. Using an OBD Scanner
An OBD II Scanner is an indispensable tool used on all vehicles in the automotive industry to diagnose faults through error codes.
OBD II ports connect to the ECU (VCU for EVs), and it logs error codes and problems with the vehicle.
You can get the VIN of a Tesla by plugging in an OBD II Scanner and using it to retrieve it.
Using an OBD Scanner is the most accurate method of retrieving VINs from a Tesla.
How to Identify a Tesla Fremont VIN?
You can identify a Tesla Fremont VIN the same way you can identify one from Austin by checking the 11th letter on the VIN.
The Fremont plant used to handle the bulk of Tesla US manufacturing before the commissioning of the Austin plant.
The main VIN differences between the two factories are their;
- Body Stamping Location
The 11th letter on VINs from cars made in the Fremont factory has the letter F as opposed to A for Austin and C for Shanghai.
The location where the VIN is on the Tesla body is also different. Fremont VINs are on the right rear door pillars.
Is Tesla Austin Better than Fremont?
No, the Tesla Austin factory isn’t better than the Fremont factory.
The Austin factory employs a different manufacturing process called Unibody casting with some slight differences.
Austin and Fremont factories are the two main plants Tesla uses to manufacture their EVs in the USA.
The Fremont factory is Tesla’s first official factory and one of the largest in California. It is also older than Austin, so it might lack some new features.
Contrary to what people think, Tesla’s older Fremont factory is just as capable as the Austin factory.
Here are the different manufacturing processes between Tesla Austin and the Fremont factory.
- Manufacturing model: The Tesla Austin plant only manufactures model Ys and Cybertrucks, while Fremont manufactures model S,3, X, and Y.
- Battery cells: The new 4680 cells are on the standard range model Ys manufactured at the Austin factory in Texas.
- Unibody casting: The Tesla Austin plant uses a casting process that casts the entire vehicle chassis as a single piece for faster production and better crash protection.