Car dealerships grapple with major computer system outage

For the second day Thursday, thousands of car dealerships nationwide saw issues with a major software provider powering their businesses, according to multiple reports.

On Wednesday, CDK Global said it shut down its systems as it investigated a cyber incident, Reuters reported. The outage began around 2 a.m. EDT, according to the news agency. Systems began coming back online by Wednesday afternoon, though a subsequent cyber incident prompted the company to shut its systems down again Thursday morning, CNN reported.

“We are sorry to inform you that we experienced an additional cyber incident late in the evening on June 19th,” CDK said in a message to dealers obtained by the news network. “Out of continued caution and to protect our customers, we are once again proactively shutting down most of our systems.”

The company expected systems to be down all day Thursday, according to CNN.

More details about the nature of the cyber incident that led to the outage were not immediately available.

On Wednesday, the CDK outage “effectively shuttered many dealerships” who rely on the company’s systems for “almost all of their normal business,” Bloomberg News reported.

“We can’t access customer records, can’t set certain appointments. We can’t even print a repair order,” Claire Glassmire, a receptionist at Barbera’s Autoland in Philadelphia, told the news agency. She added that “all our hands are tied.”

CDK is used by nearly 15,000 dealerships and provides a variety of services, including dealer management systems, digital retail tools and more, according to its website.

The incident happened after the Findlay Automotive Group, a company that operates 33 dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Washington and Idaho, reported a “cybersecurity issue affecting certain areas of its IT systems.” The company said the issue impacted the company’s ability to conduct sales and service.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal identified the issue as a ransomware attack. It spawned a class-action lawsuit from customers who claim that the company failed to properly protect their sensitive information, according to the newspaper.

Authorities are investigating, KTNV reported.

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