Local car dealerships deal with impacts of massive cyberattack

New Country Toyota of Westport's software is used by just about every area of the dealership, and had to be shut down because of the attacks.

Greg Thompson

Jun 22, 2024, 2:07 AM

Updated 30 days ago

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New Country Toyota of Westport is just one of around 15,000 car dealerships that have seen their service slow to crawl this week due to a pair of cyberattacks on CDK Global Wednesday and Thursday.
The company's software is used by just about every area of the dealership, and had to be shut down because of the attacks.
Toyota of Westport General Manager Robert Serrano says without it, "we can't bill out any new car deals, used car deals or purchase orders. Our main office, we can't print checks. It effects the whole dealership."
Things were a little chaotic at first on Wednesday because the staff had no way of helping anyone for a few hours.
Serrano says that caused some issues, because "some people don't understand, they think it's just why aren't you up? Why aren't you working? So, a few customers left annoyed."
Serrano hoped it would be a quick fix, but he knew after a few hours they had to figure something out, explaining "people make appointments days in advance, sometimes weeks, cars are reserved, cars are coming in."
The solution was to start doing everything by hand - using a pen and paper to complete orders, the way they did before computers - which most people in the building had never seen before.
"A deal that normally takes 20 minutes is going to take an hour and a half," said Serrano. "We ask our customers to be patient."
One of those customers on Friday was Carol Mohyde, from Oxford, who was taking the wait in stride, telling News 12, "we're just hanging out. My husband is outside looking at the engine and everything, and I'm just looking at Amazon at different things while I'm waiting."
She did have some concerns about the cyberattack, since the dealership, and anything linked to it, could have access to a lot of personal information.
Serrano promised that "none of our customers information has been compromised or will be, so customers have nothing to worry about."
He said he was told that CDK was working on its issues throughout the weekend, in hopes of having everything back online by Monday.
Until then, he's been telling customers "just be ready for a little delay, but we're here to help you out, and everything will happen."
Serrano added that once the dust is settled, there's a good chance all the dealerships will take a second look at their relationship with CDK including, just how reliant they are on its services.


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