A potential pitfall of digital retailing recently impacted a luxury automaker.

And it might have stemmed from activity long before the pandemic arrived and pushed automakers and dealerships deep into the digital domain.

According to a news release, a vendor informed Mercedes-Benz on June 11 that sensitive personal information of less than 1,000 OEM customers and interested buyers was inadvertently made accessible on a cloud storage platform.

The automaker said this confirmation was part of an ongoing investigation conducted in cooperation with the vendor.

Officials indicated the issue was uncovered through the “dedicated work” of an external security researcher. They said it’s their understanding the information was entered by customers and interested buyers on dealer and Mercedes-Benz websites between Jan. 1, 2014 and June 19, 2017.

“No Mercedes-Benz system was compromised as a result of this incident, and at this time, we have no evidence that any Mercedes-Benz files were maliciously misused,” the automaker said in the news release.

“Data security is a serious matter for MBUSA. Our vendor confirmed that the issue is corrected and that such an event cannot be replicated. We will continue our investigation to ensure that this situation is properly addressed,” the OEM continued.

Mercedes-Benz also shared that the vendor reports that the personal information for these individuals — again evidently less than 1,000 according to the OEM — is comprised mainly of self-reported credit scores as well as a very small number of driver license numbers, Social Security Mumbers, credit card information and dates of birth.

“To view the information, one would need knowledge of special software programs and tools — an Internet search would not return any information contained in these files,” the automaker said.

The OEM went on to note the investigation was initiated to assess the accessibility of approximately 1.6 million unique records. The company indicated the vast majority of these records included information such as name, address, emails, phone numbers and some purchased vehicle information.

“However, MBUSA would like to stress that a review of the total data entry record set determined that less than 1,000 individual Mercedes-Benz customers and interested buyers had additional personal information in a publicly accessible state,” the company said.

“Mercedes-Benz USA has already begun notifying individuals, whose additional information was accessible, about this incident,” the company went on to say.

The automaker added that any individual who had credit card information, a driver’s license number or a Social Security Number included in the data will be offered a complimentary 24-month subscription to a credit monitoring service.

“We will also notify the appropriate government agencies,” officials said.

Any individuals who have questions or concerns about this incident can contact the Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Center at (800) 367-6372.