Some Things About JDM Cars You Probably Didn’t Know

JDM Cars, what are they?

Unless you’ve done a specific web search for it, most people aren’t familiar with the Japanese Domestic Market and what it means for vehicle production in Japan. Especially if you don’t live in Japan, why is it important? Japanese manufacturers have to consider myriad issues like the lack of parking available around Japan, emissions restrictions, market performance requirements. That means their vehicles are very thoughtfully made and more and more American drivers are choosing JDM vehicles. Our technicians at Toy-Auto Masters put together a list of the most interesting and surprising characteristics of JDM cars:

Government Testing:

In the United States, auto manufacturers test their own vehicle safety and sign off on the reports. In Japan, the government is directly involved in testing and approving vehicle safety standards. That’s why you don’t see many American models of cars on the road in Japan.

1988 Honda Accord Coupe:

The first American-made vehicles approved for road travel in Japan was the 1988 Honda Accord Coupe.

Kei Cars:

These vehicles are a direct response to the parking scarcity in Japanese cities. Kei cars or K-cars are restricted to be no bigger than 660 ccs. They look small, but a lot of owners take the opportunity to customize their ride to make up for it!

Sonic Turbo Exhaust:

Speaking of customizations, the first that many vehicle owners want to make is to ramp up the noise. JDM manufacturers know the demand for after-market exhausts, so they built their vehicles to be more easily customized. They were the first to create bolt-on exhaust systems.


For various reasons JDM manufacturers almost all omit etching the VIN number onto the vehicle. The VIN number, primarily used for identification, is not necessary in Japan.

Many Manufacturers:

For such a small country, Japan has a great amount of car manufacturers. Some you have heard of: Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda. Others you may not know also made cars: Yamaha and Kawasaki. And others might be completely new to you: Daihatsu and Mitsuoka. Plenty of options to choose from!

25-Year Wait:

Finally, the bad news. If you’re taken by the idea of a JDM vehicle, make sure you do your research.If you find a JDM that you like, but it has not been built for U.S. sales, you cannot import that model to Englewood, Colorado until it has been on the market for 25 years!

By on November 8th, 2021 in Acura Repair, Honda Repair, Import Auto Repair, Lexus Repair, Subaru Repair, Toyota Repair