Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced a $25 million settlement today with Uber Technologies Inc. over allegations the ridesharing company misled the public about background checks on its drivers.
“We are pleased that Uber has agreed to comply with state consumer laws,” District Attorney Lacey said. “With this settlement, the ridesharing company has pledged to communicate honestly about its driver background checks and airport fees, important steps to protecting the residents of California.”
“The result we achieved today goes well beyond its impact on Uber,” said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. “It sends a clear message to all businesses, and to startups in particular, that in the quest to quickly obtain market share, laws designed to protect consumers cannot be ignored. If a business acts like it is above the law, it will pay a heavy price.”
As part of the stipulated judgment approved today by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Mary Wiss, Uber agreed to pay a civil penalty of $10 million to Los Angeles and San Francisco counties within the next 60 days. Uber will have to pay an additional $15 million civil penalty if the company does not comply with the terms of the settlement over the next two years.
The agreement follows a prior settlement reached with Lyft, Inc., in December 2014. Both companies are subject to a permanent injunction barring them from making untrue or misleading statements about their background checks.
The injunction also requires Uber to ensure that its passenger fare calculation app meets accuracy standards set by the California Department of Agriculture's Division of Measurement Standards.
In addition, Uber must receive approval from airports in California to have its drivers drop off and pick up passengers, according to the agreement. The company also can no longer charge an airport “toll” unless it or its drivers pay the entire fee to the airport.
The company admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
Deputy District Attorneys Jessie McGrath and Christopher Curtis and Head Deputy District Attorney Stanley Williams and Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun of the Consumer Protection Division prosecuted the case on behalf of District Attorney Lacey.
The cases were investigated by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Consumer Protection Division.
Los Angeles County District Attorney / April 7, 2016