Volkswagen said it fixed an IT glitch that had paralyzed production at several of its plants since Wednesday. A spokesman for the automaker said Thursday morning that production is now increasing again.
“The IT infrastructure problems in the Volkswagen network were resolved overnight, and the network is operating stably again,” the spokesman said. Production should proceed as planned. Individual systems can still be affected in the transition. There is still no evidence that external influences caused this disorder.
Consequences on production
Due to the severe disruption of information technology, some Volkswagen Group plants are not able to produce cars at the present time. The problems occurred on Wednesday around lunchtime and, according to the IT service provider, have consequences for Volkswagen production worldwide. The Audi subsidiary was also affected. A crisis team has been formed. The cause initially remained unclear. The IT outage paralyzed the Volkswagen Group’s central network.
The four car-producing plants in Germany are currently out of commission – Wolfsburg, Emden, Zwickau and Osnabrück. Component plants in Kassel, Braunschweig and Salzgitter were also affected: “The disruption has occurred since 12.30 p.m. and is currently being analysed. There are implications for vehicle production plants.” Volkswagen’s subsidiary Audi was also affected by the IT disruption, an Audi spokeswoman said in the evening when asked by the German news agency DPA.
“Production lines are stopped everywhere.”
According to the IT services provider responsible for the company’s networks, it was a global disruption. “Production lines have stopped everywhere since this afternoon – all over the world. Audi and Volkswagen are affected,” she told the German news agency on Wednesday evening. “We have a big problem.”
It is not possible to say exactly how long this disturbance will last. Volkswagen’s IT specialist and Audi’s external network service provider assume the disruption will keep IT busy until at least Thursday. One cannot say how this happened. Anything is possible, from a collapse to a hacker attack.
“The entire trading network has been closed.”
The newspaper reported on Thursday evening, citing company departments, that central applications on computers did not work in many Volkswagen offices. The emergency call has been canceled in some locations. In addition, Volkswagen workshops and authorized dealers were also affected by this disruption. The newspaper quoted merchant circles as saying, “The entire trading network has been closed.” The US headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was also affected. “Production at Volkswagen in Chattanooga has been affected due to a global IT glitch. We are currently working to resolve the issue,” Handelsblatt newspaper quoted a spokesman as saying.
Complete failure at Toyota at the end of August
At the end of August, Volkswagen’s competitor, Toyota, suffered a complete failure. At the Japanese auto giant, technical problems led to a complete loss of production in Japan for about a day. An error in the spare parts order management system was the cause. It was later said that the reason was insufficient storage space on the servers. It was confirmed that the incident was not a cyber attack.
Toyota was forced to shut down all of its factories last March after its local supplier Kojima Industries suffered a system failure due to a cyberattack. All 28 Toyota production lines in its 14 factories were also affected, affecting the production of about 13,000 cars. The group was also forced to temporarily halt part of its operations in July after a cyberattack on a computer system at Nagoya Port, a Toyota hub, disrupted port services for two days.
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