Due to a serious IT malfunction, cars cannot be produced in some Volkswagen Group plants for the time being. The problems occurred on Wednesday around lunchtime and, according to an IT service provider, have consequences for Volkswagen’s production worldwide. The subsidiary Audi was also affected. A crisis team was convened. The cause initially remained unclear.

The IT disruption paralyzed the Volkswagen Group’s central network. Production in several plants is at a standstill, a company spokesman confirmed in the evening. “We can confirm an IT malfunction of network components at the Wolfsburg location,” said the spokesman.

The four vehicle producing plants in Germany are currently at a standstill – Wolfsburg, Emden, Zwickau and Osnabrück. 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.”

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.

“We have a huge problem”

According to an IT service provider responsible for the company’s networks, this is a global disruption. “The production lines 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.

The VW Group spokesman had not previously been able to say anything about the impact abroad. 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” first reported on the IT disruption.

Authorized workshops and dealers are also affected by the disruption

In many VW offices, central applications on the computers did not work, the newspaper reported on Thursday night, citing company circles. The emergency call was canceled at some locations. In addition, authorized VW workshops and dealers are also affected by the disruption. “The entire trading network has been shut down,” the newspaper quoted dealer circles as saying. The US headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is also affected. “Production at Volkswagen in Chattanooga is affected due to a global IT disruption. We are currently working on solving the problem,” the “Handelsblatt” quoted a spokesman as saying.

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.