More than 3 million customers or buyers had at least basic contact information stolen from an outside company that worked with automakers, according to VW. This data included phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses and, in some cases, vehicle identification numbers.
The company contacted 90,000 people in the United States – mostly Audi customers or buyers – who had particularly sensitive information taken during the breach. In most cases, this included driver’s license numbers and, in a small number of cases, social security numbers, VW or Audi account numbers, and dates of birth. The company offers free credit protection to those who have had very sensitive information confiscated.
The breach included data from individuals who had only inquired about the purchase of an Audi or VW vehicle, according to a statement from Volkswagen USA.
“We regret any inconvenience this may cause to our current or potential customers,” VW USA said in a statement. “As always, we recommend that individuals remain alert to suspicious emails or other communications that may ask them to provide information about themselves or their vehicle.”