Tesla owner suing over false Forward Collision Warnings that impacts his Safety Score and insurance premiums

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Credit: Tesla

Tesla Insurance expanded to Illinois late last year, offering Tesla owners the opportunity for lower insurance premiums based on a real-time analysis of their driving behaviours through the Safety Score Beta tool.

The Safety Score tool uses five different metrics – Forward Collision Warnings, Hard Braking, Aggressive Turning, Hard Braking, and Forced Autopilot Disengagements, to determine your score, and ultimately your insurance premium.

Anyone that has used the tool, including those attempting to get in to the Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta program, knows that the FCW metric is very sensitive and can be triggered even when there is no impending danger of an actual collision.

One Illinois driver has been getting so many false Forward Collision Warnings that he is now suing State National Insurance Co., claiming his insurance premiums are being improperly raised as a result.

In a filing with the Cook County Circuit Court last week, Shawn Schneider says the problem lies with the fact the tool is in beta and still being perfected.

“However, due to the advanced and still in development technology that powers Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving features, including the safety features that Defendant’s Safety Score tracks, some of the features do not always work as intended. For instance, some Tesla drivers see the warnings pop up when no danger is present, and some have seen collision warnings reflected in their safety scores without ever experiencing any warning while driving their vehicle,” the lawsuit alleges. (via Law360)

Schneider says the false warnings have “significantly affected” his premiums on both his Model 3 and Model S. He also says the warnings force owners to drive more than they would otherwise have to in an effort to improve their score and lower their premiums.

“The effect is particularly pronounced for Tesla drivers who only occasionally drive and who only have the next 30 days to try to average more miles with the hopes to boost their Safety Scores by not having any forward collision warnings appear,” Schneider claimed.

Schneider is asking the courts to allow him to follow through on his complaint on behalf of all Tesla owners in Illinois that have been similarly affected and the other states where Tesla Insurance is offered.

The case is Shawn Schneider v. State National Insurance Co., case number 2022-CH-04132, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Chancery Division.

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Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a copy of the complaint.

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