Drivers Allege Progressive Telematics Device Shuts Down Cars

Progressive Insurance’s snapshot telematics device could be a threat to driver safety. A Massachusetts man is alleging that one of the wireless devices designed to monitor driving caused his car to shut down while he was driving it.
James Manning’s PT Cruiser shut down completely while he was driving his daughter to school, The Great Barrington resident told CBS Boston. Manning thinks the Snapshot device was to blame because a mechanic checked his vehicle and found nothing wrong with it.

Progressive Corp (NYSE: PGR) paid Manning $600 in a claim he filed over the device but refused to admit the device was at fault, CBS Boston reported. Manning told CBS Boston that he thinks Snapshot should be scrapped.

Are Telematics Devices a Threat to Drivers?

The TV station’s I-Team investigated the incident and found a long list of complaints about the devices. Among other things, it discovered a report from a Progressive claims specialist that stated the insurer had received 8,121 customer complaints about the devices.


The insurance company also paid out $582,000 in claims related to Snapshot, the I-Team discovered. The I-Team also discovered that American Family Insurance suspended its telematics program after 7,900 customers returned the devices.

American Family intends to offer telematics again in the future with a different device, a spokesman for the company said.

There was a 2013 class action lawsuit over Progressive devices in Florida that was dismissed, CBS Boston reported.

It looks as if insurers might have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to telematics devices. They could present some serious problems and even a threat to safety. Drivers should definitely think twice before adopting this technology.