Uber sued for misleading statements; Lyft settles similar charges

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Two district attorneys are suing Uber for making false and misleading statements. This comes at the same time that Lyft has agreed to settle with the DA's offices on similar charges.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and the district attorney from Los Angeles are suing Uber for making false and misleading statements about its drivers' background checks and fee charging process.

At the same time, Lyft on-demand ride service has agreed to settle with them on similar charges.

The civil complaint against Uber charges the company with misleading customers about its drivers' background checks.

Uber claims that its system is often stricter than those used for taxi drivers. Gascon says that is false.

"Uber relies on information submitted over the Internet by its drivers instead of fingerprinting them to ensure that they are who they say they are," he says.

Gascon said taxi drivers in San Francisco and most other cities undergo checks using their fingerprints.

The lawsuit also accuses Uber of fraudulently charging an airport fee when they're not even permitted to take passengers there.

"Uber charges $4 to passengers for its UberX service, even when UberX drivers weren't paying anything to SFO," Gascon says.

The two district attorneys also charged that Lyft was guilty of the same business practices, but Gascon announced that the two offices had settled with the company.

Lyft has agreed to a permanent injunction prohibiting it from continuing to make false and misleading statements.

In addition, Lyft will have to pay civil penalties of $500,000. $250,000 of it will be waived if the company complies with terms of the injunction by the end of the year.

Taxi driver Barry Korengold says all this is too little, too late. "They've been breaking the law since their conception. That's how they got so big, by not following the rules and competing with those of us who have to follow the rules," he said.

Uber emailed ABC7 News with a response to the lawsuit, saying in part, "Uber has met with the DA's to address their concerns regarding the airport operations, background checks and operation of the app."

Uber says it will continue talking with the district attorneys.
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businessuberlyfttransportationcommutingdrivinggeorge gasconSan FranciscoLos Angeles
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