More than 3 million customers or shoppers had at least basic contact information stolen from an outside company that worked with the automakers, according VW. That data included phone numbers, email addresses, postal mailing addresses and, in some cases, vehicle identification numbers.
The company has reached out to 90,000 people in the US — mostly Audi customers or shoppers — who had especially sensitive information taken in the breach. In most cases, that 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 is offering free credit protection to those who had very sensitive information taken.
The breach included data from people who had merely inquired about purchasing an Audi or VW vehicle, according to a statement from Volkswagen USA.
“We regret any inconvenience this may cause our current or potential customers,” VW USA said in a statement. “As always, we recommend that individuals remain alert for suspicious emails or other communications that might ask them to provide information about themselves or their vehicle.”