Uber Settles Background Check Lawsuit in California

Uber, the ride-hailing service, will pay the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco as much as $25 million in a settlement for a lawsuit that had accused the company of misrepresenting the background checks it carries out.

In 2014, the district attorneys for the cities filed the suit against Uber accusing them of not vetting its drivers completely while claiming their background checks were gold standard for the industry.

The two cities said the system used by Uber was not even as thorough as those taxi companies use, which call for mandatory fingerprints.

On Thursday, the settlement was announced. As part of that, Uber agreed not to use specific language to describe the services such as claiming it has the “safest ride.”

Uber had stopped making a number of the claim already earlier in the year, as part of another yet separate class action suit of $28.5 million.

Uber will also only have its service at airports in California when it has the port authority permission.

The company agreed as well to stop charging for “airport fees,” which Uber never actually paid to any airport. That was part of yet another suit that Uber settled last November.

The ride-hailing company agreed it would continue to work closely with California’s Division of Measurement Standards an agency that reviews companies’ calculation methods in the transportation business to ensure they all have fair pricing.

Previously, Uber refused to give the agency its app. It started to cooperate with the agency following the lawsuit and the DMS approved the app last August.

In a prepared statement by Uber released late Thursday, the company said it was happy to put the case behind them and excited to increase the efforts at the company of serving drivers and riders across California.

Penalties of as much as $25 million will be paid by Uber, with the first $10 million due over between April and May, but the remaining $15 million could be waived if the company complies with all the terms of this lawsuit.

Lyft, Uber’s biggest competitor, settled a suit that was similar with both San Francisco and Los Angeles for $250,000 back in 2014.