General Motors Faces Another Lawsuit for Sharing Vehicle Owner Data

April 2, 2024
According to the lawsuit, GM collected data on vehicle owners’ driving habits and shared it with insurance companies to justify rate increases.

A recent lawsuit filed against General Motors alleges that the automaker gathered and shared drivers’ data without their consent, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Filed last Thursday in the Southern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Larry Reed of Michigan and Darnell McCoy Sr. of California are listed as the initial plaintiffs. 

The lawsuit is seeking class-action status and over $5 million in damages, claiming that there are over 100 putative class members within the suit.

According to the lawsuit, GM and its connected-services subsidiary, OnStar, collected data on vehicle owners’ driving habits–accelerations, hard braking, speeding–and shared it with insurance companies to give them reason to increase rates on those drivers.

This suit comes only a week after GM said it would cease to collect drivers’ data, following another lawsuit in Florida that was filed on March 13 which claims GM, OnStar, and LexisNexis Risk Solutions– and data and analytics company–shared driving data that led to an increase in insurance rates for drivers.

“OnStar Smart Driver customer data is no longer being shared with LexisNexis or Verisk, another analytics firm that GM had used to collect and share data to help businesses manage risk,” GM spokesman Kevin Kelly said on March 20.

The most recent lawsuit in Michigan is now claiming that the March 20 announcement from GM indicates the company “did not have the requisite legal consent by their customers for this data sharing practice.” 

Some experts, such as lawyer and law professor Erik Gordon, don’t believe the decision from GM is necessarily indicative of guilt. Regardless, former director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and current law professor David Vladeck predicted that more lawsuits against GM are likely to follow.

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