Volkswagen has just revealed a new van and given us an idea of how to modify an Arteon, but it still has the Dieselgate scandal going on in the background. Fortunately, things seem to be nearing their end on that front as former VW execs are footing a massive bill in reparations. However, bad news seems to be following Volkswagen around. According to a letter obtained by TechCrunch, an unnamed digital vendor used by Audi and some of its North American dealers used for sales and marketing "left electronic data unsecured at some point between August 2019 and May 2021". Ouch.
According to Reuters, the majority of customers affected were Audi customers, but there's no word on which vehicles were affected most. According to reports, this unnamed third party may have accessed "the first and last names, personal or business addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers of the 3.3 million customers impacted."
"We take the safeguarding of your information very seriously," says Audi of America President David Weissland. "We have informed the appropriate authorities, including law enforcement and regulators. We are working with external cybersecurity experts to assess and respond to this situation and have taken steps to address the matter with the vendor."
Unfortunately for Volkswagen and Audi, that may not be a good enough response. The report continues to say that the third party may have accessed the "sensitive information relating to the eligibility of a purchase, loan, or lease" of roughly 90,000 US and Canadian Volkswagen or Audi clients. According to Weissland, a "very small" number of birth dates, Social Security numbers, account or loan numbers, and tax ID numbers may have also been exposed. Volkswagen and Audi are urging their customers to "look out for spam emails or other communications requesting sensitive personal information." Hopefully, the data breach was never taken advantage of, but either way, it's not a good day for the German brands.