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CDK Global says software outage will take several days to resolve

New York CNN  —  Retail software provider CDK Global says it will likely take several days for its software to be back online and operational, as the company grapples with a system outage that has paralyzed nearly 15,000 car dealerships across North America since Wednesday. The data provider’s software, which dealerships use to manage everything from scheduling to records, said Saturday it has begun restoring its software. “We anticipate that the process will take several days to complete, and in the interim we are continuing to actively engage with our customers and provide them with alternative ways to conduct business,” a CDK spokesperson told CNN on Saturday. CDK has said it is working to investigate the shutdown after two cyber incidents brought its systems to a standstill. The company has not confirmed who was behind the incidents. Bloomberg previously reported the company was negotiating with an Eastern European-based hacker group demanding tens of millions of dollars in ransom to end the outage. CDK has not responded Sunday to CNN’s request for comment about the reported ransom. Dealers implement temporary solutions Many car manufacturers and dealerships have scrambled to implement temporary solutions to maintain retail operations while their computer software remains offline. In an automated message via its toll-free number Saturday, CDK advised dealership employees to be cautious of phishing scams and to take precautions to secure sensitive information such as passwords. Mike Stanton, the president and CEO of the National Automobile Dealers Association, told CNN in a statement the group “continues seeking information from CDK on the nature and scope of the cyber incident, so dealers are able to respond appropriately.” “Thousands of franchised new-car dealerships rely on CDK to run their businesses and this outage has impacted dealers’ ability to provide a seamless customer experience and process transactions efficiently,” he added. The system shutdown could slow down business and cause shipping delays at dealerships as the summer season gears up. Dealership sales in 2023 topped $1.2 trillion in the United States, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. Car manufacturer Ford told CNN it is working with dealers to set up alternative software systems and other workarounds. A company spokesperson emphasized the effects of the outage will vary from dealer to dealer. Ford said it encourages customers to contact their local dealership for information. Several dealerships on the East Coast told CNN on Sunday they are manually filling out forms to process sales. Some businesses mentioned they are having issues with registering purchased cars with the state, as they rely on CDK’s software to send registration information to their respective motor vehicle department. One used car dealership told CNN it has been filing paperwork by hand and sending runners to the car registry with the paperwork. Another dealer said they’re still selling cars but can’t complete transactions in a timely manner. In a Friday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Penske Automotive said while its auto dealers don’t use CDK Global, its Premier Trucking Group division — which mainly serve businesses — does use CDK’s dealer management system. Penske said it was working on implementing response plans and its 48 PTG locations remain operational. In another SEC filing, Sonic Automotive said it was also operational but was instating “workaround solutions to minimize the disruption caused by this CDK outage.” The company added the incident will likely negatively impact Sonic’s financial and business operations. Premier Truck Group declined to elaborate on its response plans. Sonic did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. —CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena and Ramishah Maruf contributed to this report.