Uber to pay millions to settle US dispute over background checks for drivers

James Nickerson
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Uber did not admit any wrongdoing (Source: Getty)

Uber's in the thick of it again, this time having to pay $25m in a settlement to end a lawsuit in America over claims it made on background checks for drivers.

The ride-hailing app had been accused of misleading customers over the strength of its background checks on drivers, prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco said.

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Uber has to pay $10m within 60 days. Uber will then have to pay an additional $15m civil penalty if the company does not comply with the terms of the settlement over the next two years.

The agreement means Uber can't make statements about its background checks which aren't true. It must also make sure its fare calculations meet state measurement standards.

That's because Uber had made what the prosecutors said was a "very public statement" that it was the "gold standard" for safety.

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Uber said settling was not any admission of any wrongdoing. Still, it's said it will not longer make statements such as "safest drive on the road" in its advertising.

The company uses a criminal database to check its drivers, but other cab companies use a fingerprint check. Uber said no driver vetting system could be 100 per cent safe.

Yet, prosecutors said Uber failed to prevent 25 people with criminal convictions from becoming drivers, including several sex offenders and a convicted murderer.

The Los Angeles Times last year found that four Uber drivers had serious criminal records, which would have barred them from operating a taxi in LA.

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