Uber is paying at least $10 million for making misleading safety claims


Uber CEO Travis Kalanick speaks to students during an interaction at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus in Mumbai, India, January 19, 2016.

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Uber has agreed to pay at least $10 million (£7 million) for misleading people on the safety of its taxi-hailing platform.


The San Francisco-headquartered company was sued in 2014 after it claimed its driver vetting system was better than than the systems used by traditional mini cab companies. Uber proudly advertised that it was the "the gold standard" in the industry when it came to safety.

But district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles said on Thursday that Uber's message was misleading.

Unlike traditional cab companies, Uber does not take fingerprints for would-be drivers. Instead, it relies on criminal databases that only go back seven years.

Uber said in a statement: "Accidents and incidents do happen. That's why we need to ensure that the language used to describe safety at Uber is clear and precise. We've agreed not to use terms like 'safest ride on the road' or describe our background checks as 'the gold standard.'"


The prosecutors highlighted that Uber failed to prevent 25 convicted criminals - including several sex offenders and a convicted murderer - from becoming drivers on its platform, according to the BBC.

The company added that "no means of transportation can be 100% safe."

Uber has no plans to make its drivers undergo fingerprint checks, according to the BBC.

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