Judge rules Tesla Insurance lawsuit over false collision warnings can proceed

A California judge denied Tesla’s request to dismiss a class-action lawsuit claiming the company’s insurance premiums are too high because of false collision warnings.

In 11 of the 12 states where Tesla Insurance is offered, the monthly premiums are based on real-time driving behaviour. Tesla monitors your driving habits and takes into account several different metrics to calculate your Safety Score, which in turn is then used to determine your monthly premiums. One of the metrics is Forward Collision Warnings (FCW), and anyone that has used the Safety Score tool knows that this metric is very sensitive and can be triggered even when there is no impending danger of an actual collision.

While this had no real effect for those owners trying to get into the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta program, other than a lower score and having to wait longer to get the software, there is a monetary penalty for Tesla Insurance customers in the form of a higher premium.

It was because of this an owner from Illinois filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the company earlier this year, alleging customers were being overcharged based on these false warnings. Now the lawsuit has been given the green light to proceed. On Friday Judge Brad Seligman of Alameda County Superior Court denied Tesla’s bid to have the lawsuit dismissed, and an initial hearing for the case is scheduled for January. (via Reuters)

In his lawsuit, the defendant, Shawn Schneider contends the false warnings have had a considerable impact on his insurance costs for both his Model 3 and Model S. Additionally, he asserts that these warnings compel owners to increase how much they drive their cars in an attempt to improve their scores and therefore reduce their premiums.

The lawsuit covers Tesla drivers in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Virginia. California is no not included since Tesla is not allowed to monitor real-time driving behaviour to calculate premiums in that state.

You can read the full decision below.

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