Car, Truck Dealers Assess Fallout From CDK Cyberattack

car, truck dealers assess fallout from cdk cyberattack

The auto industry was trying to size up, and minimize, damage from a cyberattack this week that disrupted how dealers operate.

CDK Global software customers Sonic Automotive, and Penske Automotive Group, both reported in federal filings Friday that the outage affected some business dealings.

The companies filed their SEC paperwork two days after CDK said it suffered two cyber incidents. CDK, based in Illinois and owned by Brookfield Business Partners, services nearly 15,000 dealers, which use CDK’s software to manage sales, payroll and general office operations, according to CDK’s website.

Like many dealerships, Sonic, based in North Carolina, lost access to its dealer management system, “which supports critical dealership operations including those supporting sales, inventory and accounting functions and its customer relationship management,” the filing said.

Its dealerships are operating with workaround solutions, and Sonic has yet to determine whether the situation is likely to materially impact its finances, the filing said.

Penske, a car and truck dealership based in Michigan, said its commercial truck dealership business utilized CDK Global systems and that it was using manual or other workarounds.

General Motors sent a note to its dealerships Friday evening with suggestions on how to handle the software disruptions.

The guidance included instructions on how to manually submit warranty claims when a dealer needs reimbursement for fixing a recalled car, and using a mechanical time punch or handwritten time card to track service tech hours.

The National Automobile Dealers Association, which represents more than 16,000 car dealerships, on Friday said it had contacted CDK over whether customer information was compromised. A CDK spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

The association also told members to be vigilant in checking all data when systems come back online.

“Dealerships need to compare their May 31st closing balances to their June 1st opening balances to ensure there are no discrepancies,” the memo said.

In an update sent Friday afternoon, CDK said it didn’t have an estimated time frame for a resolution. Dealers’ systems “will not be available likely for several days,” the update said.

The company also said “bad actors” had been contacting customers and partners and pretending to be CDK Global representatives in order to obtain system access.

“Do not provide sensitive information such as passwords or provide system access under any circumstances,” the update urged.

—Mike Colias and Robert McMillian contributed to this article

Write to Ginger Adams Otis at [email protected]

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