Good Luck Buying a Car This Weekend: Dealership Cyberattack to Last ‘Several Days’

Key Takeaways

  • Car dealerships in the U.S. and Canada are crippled by the ongoing CDK cyberattack
  • CDK representatives now say that the disruption will last ‘Several Days’
  • Even service departments are impacted, complicating auto repairs

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Last updated Jun 20, 2024

If you’re planning to buy a car this weekend, you might want to reconsider. A major cyberattack has crippled the dealership management systems of CDK Global, affecting thousands of dealerships across the United States and Canada. This disruption is creating chaos at dealerships, with impacts likely lasting through the weekend and potentially into next week. Should you buy a car right now? Here’s why this weekend could be the worst time in recent memory to be stuck at a dealership.

The 2024 Dealership Cyberattack and Its Impact

CDK dealership cyberattack update

CDK Global, a major provider of dealership management systems, experienced a cyberattack on June 19, forcing the company to shut down its car dealership software in the U.S. and Canada. This escalation comes just a day after CDK had mostly resolved issues from the attack.

In a statement, CDK alerted its customers: “We continue to act out of caution, and to protect our customers, we have taken down most of our systems. Do not attempt to access the DMS until we can confirm the system is secure. At this time, we do not have an estimated time frame for resolution and therefore our dealers’ systems will not be available for several days.”

Disruption Across Dealerships

CDK’s systems are used by nearly 15,000 auto dealership locations. This shutdown threatens to disrupt thousands of new-vehicle transactions right in the heart of stellar Fourth of July sales. Dealers rely on CDK’s systems for critical functions such as customer relationship management, sales processing, and inventory management. Without these systems, many dealerships are reverting to manual processes, causing long waits for customers, and even the potential for errors.

Todd Szott of Szott Auto Group in Detroit talked to Automotive News about the situation. “We’re kind of going back to old-school pen and paper and finding other systems to do some of the things that we do with the CDK products, as well as just manual processes to continue to serve our customers.”

Avoid Dealerships This Weekend, Or Expect to Wait

Car dealership cyberattack update

Given the widespread impact of the cyberattack, car shoppers should expect a chaotic situation at dealerships. Many dealers are unable to finalize sales, register plates, or complete title work. Some are even struggling to perform basic service tasks due to the inability to locate parts in their systems.

When will the situation be resolved? Car dealerships should be back to normal by the end of the coming week at the latest. Hopefully, much sooner. 

Stay informed, stay patient, and consider ‘walking the lot’ instead of heading out with the intent to buy. Unless you’re especially patient, this weekend is the worst time to buy a car.

Check back for the latest updates on the CDK car dealership cyberattack. 

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