Massive computer outage at car dealerships could last for days, company says | CNN Business (2024)

Massive computer outage at car dealerships could last for days, company says | CNN Business (1)

Paragon Honda and Acura car dealership in the Queens borough of New York on July 15, 2021.


US and Canadian auto dealerships remained at a near-standstill on Thursday because of a second cyber incident at data provider CDK Global, whose software is used at 15,000 auto dealers – an outage that could last for days, perhaps eating into sales over the first official weekend of summer.

On Wednesday, CDK spokesperson Lisa Finney said in a statement shared with CNN: “We are actively investigating a cyber incident. Out of an abundance of caution and concern for our customers, we have shut down most of our systems and are working diligently to get everything up and running as quickly as possible.”

Later that day the company announced that most of the critical computer systems were back online. But Thursday morning, the company sent dealerships another message indicating things had a taken a turn for the worse.

“Late in the evening of June 19, we experienced an additional cyber incident and proactively shut down most of our systems. In partnership with third party experts, we are assessing the impact and providing regular updates to our customers,” CDK said in a statement shared Thursday morning. “We remain vigilant in our efforts to reinstate our services and get our dealers back to business as usual as quickly as possible.”

The company later told dealers the systems could be down for several days, according to two sources briefed on the situation.

CDK operates numerous different products that car dealers use to handle things like keeping records of negotiated deals to scheduling and communicating about service. Not every dealer uses CDK’s products, and even those that do may not use them for everything, but the system shutdown has been a problem for many.

“We have customers coming in today who had deals saved in the system,” said Jeff Ramsey, an executive with Ourisman Auto Group, which is headquartered in Maryland.

To protect customer privacy, customers’ details aren’t written out on a piece of paper that’s just sitting on a desk anymore. Instead, information about deals and customer appointments is kept in a server that’s now impossible for his salespeople to access.

How this affects buying a car now

Ramsey said he understands, though, that CDK is doing what it feels it must to secure this sensitive data. But it’s a major hassle in the meantime and could cost his dealerships some business. Customers who are delayed in closing a sale at one of his dealerships could just find a dealer nearby that’s not having these issues and buy a new vehicle there, instead.

It’s car buying season, so it’s a real concern.

“We’re in the summer months,” he said. “This is where we need systems functioning.”

Ramsey and Brian Benstock, general manager of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura in Long Island City, New York, both said they were continuing to do business and were selling cars in spite of the problems.

“My selling team can hand-write a buyer’s order,” said Benstock.

But salespeople could lack access to customer agreements that had been previously negotiated, making it harder to close those sales, dealers CNN spoke with said. There’s more than just the negotiated price of the car involved, since these agreements can involve rebates and incentives, some of which customers must show they’re qualified for.

Ramsey, whose company operates a number of dealerships, said automakers including Kia, Toyota and Stellantis, which makes Jeep and Dodge vehicles, have been very helpful with finding ways serve customers even with all technology issues.

Ford also said its dealerships involved in the CDK outage have alternate ways to take care of customers.

“Although there is an industry-wide system outage for some dealers who use CDK, Ford and Lincoln customers are able to receive sales and service support due to alternative processes available to our dealers. While a customer’s local dealer remains the best place for information about their sales and service needs, they can always contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at 1-800-392-3673,” Ford said in a statement shared with CNN.

Not just car sales, but parts and service can also be disrupted.

The bigger hassles will be for the dealership’s accountants and businesspeople, Benstock said. Plenty of his employees have been in this business since before it became networked and computer dependent, he said, but it’s still a problem and he’s still worried about customer data.

Massive computer outage at car dealerships could last for days, company says | CNN Business (2024)


Massive computer outage at car dealerships could last for days, company says | CNN Business? ›

(CNN) — US and Canadian auto dealerships remained at a near-standstill on Thursday because of a second cyber incident at data provider CDK Global, whose software is used at 15,000 auto dealers – an outage that could last for days, perhaps eating into sales over the first official weekend of summer.

What car dealerships are affected by cyber attacks? ›

Several major auto companies — including Stellantis, Ford and BMW — confirmed to The Associated Press Friday that the CDK outage had impacted some of their dealers, but that sales operations continue.

What is the CDK shutdown? ›

CDK Global has been hit by a cyberattack, shutting down its dealer management systems for more than 15,000 dealer operations.

What is the CDK hack? ›

The CDK cyber outage reached third consecutive day of affecting software management tools and upending operations at car dealerships across the U.S. The company shut down most of its systems "out of an abundance of caution" for customers on Wednesday, CDK spokesperson Lisa Finney said.

What is happening to CDK? ›

Following two cyberattacks June 19, software and dealership management system provider CDK Global shut down its services indefinitely, impacting thousands of dealerships across the U.S. and Canada.

What types of businesses are most at risk for a cyberattack? ›

Heathcare, Financial Services, Retail, Education, Energy, Utilities, Government and Manufacturing are all industries most vulnerable to cyberattacks in 2024. 69% say that cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly targeted.

Are computerized cars a cyber threat? ›

Smarter cars mean more cyber risk

As the electronic (and always connected) systems inside cars become increasingly sophisticated, they present a more inviting target for cyberattacks.

How many dealerships use CDK? ›

CDK Global is ubiquitous in the auto dealership world – its software is used at 15,000 dealers. Its products handle everything from records to scheduling.

What does CDK stand for in automotive? ›

Complete knock down, a production technique, often used in automotive industry.

Who is attacking CDK? ›

The group behind the attack is believed to be based in eastern Europe, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter. The auto retail technology and software provider planned to pay the ransom, Bloomberg News reported.

Who bought out CDK? ›

Last April it was announced that CDK Global, Inc., was being acquired by Brookfield Business Partners for $8.3 billion. Under merger agreement terms, CDK shareholders were said to receive $54.87 per share in cash upon completion of the transaction.

Who owns CDK automotive? ›

On April 7, 2022, CDK Global agreed to be acquired by Brookfield Business Partners and institutional partners for a total enterprise value of $8.3 billion.

How many people work for CDK? ›

The number of employees of the company Cdk Global headquartered in the United States decreased to 6.5 thousand persons since the previous year.

How many dealers are affected by CDK? ›

CDK Global, a company that provides auto dealerships across the U.S. with software for managing sales and other services, has been hacked, prompting the company to temporarily shut down most of its systems. That is effectively preventing about 15,000 car dealerships from making sales.

How do I know if my car has been hacked? ›

There really aren't any telltale signs a vehicle has been hacked. If your vehicle is performing strangely, take it to your dealer to discuss the problem.

Can hackers take over your car? ›

With the proper electronics and software techniques, a determined hacker can intercept or block your key fob signal, infiltrate your car's software, and even remotely control your vehicle. So, is your connected car hackable?

What is CDK in a dealership? ›

What does CDK Global do? CDK Global provides data and technology to different automotive dealerships. Its systems are used by roughly 15,000 car dealerships across the United States and Canada.

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