An IT malfunction paralyzed the central network of the Volkswagen Group on Wednesday. Production in several plants was at a standstill, a company spokesman confirmed in the evening. According to an IT specialist, this is a global malfunction.
“We can confirm an IT malfunction of network components at the Wolfsburg location,” said the spokesman. The four vehicle producing plants in Germany at the locations in Wolfsburg, Emden, Zwickau and Osnabrück are currently at a standstill.
The component plants in Kassel, Braunschweig and Salzgitter are also affected: “The disruption has existed since 12:30 p.m. and is currently being analyzed. There are implications for vehicle producing plants.” According to the current status of the analyses, an external attack is unlikely to be the reason for the system malfunction, the spokesman emphasized.
Audi is also affected
The VW subsidiary Audi is also affected by the IT disruption, as an Audi spokeswoman said in the evening when asked by the dpa. The extent to which this is the case is still being investigated. The company spokesman was initially unable to say anything about the impact abroad.
Total failure at VW rival Toyota at the end of August
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At the end of August, VW’s rival Toyota was affected by a total failure. At the Japanese car giant, technical problems led to a complete loss of production in Japan for about a day. An error in the parts order management system was to blame.
It was later said that the cause was insufficient storage space on servers. It was emphasized that the incident was not a cyber attack.
Toyota had to close all of its factories in March last year after its domestic supplier Kojima Industries suffered a system failure caused by a cyber attack. All 28 Toyota production lines in the 14 factories were also affected, affecting the production of around 13,000 vehicles.
The company was also forced to temporarily halt part of its operations in July after a cyberattack on a computer system at the port of Nagoya, a Toyota hub, disrupted port services for two days.
At the moment it doesn’t look like an attack from outside, it was said in the evening. It is not yet possible to estimate when the problem will be resolved and production will start again. The “Handelsblatt” had previously reported on the IT disruption.
Possibly global disruption
According to an IT service provider responsible for the company’s networks, this is a global disruption. “The belts have stopped everywhere since this afternoon – all over the world. “Audi and VW are affected,” she told the dpa on Wednesday evening. “We have a huge problem.” It is not possible to say exactly how long the disruption will last.
The IT specialist at VW and Audi’s external network service provider assumes that the disruption will keep IT busy at least until Thursday. One cannot say how this came about. Anything from a breakdown to a hacker attack is possible.