Uber agreed to pay up to $25 million to settle a 2014 lawsuit filed by city officials in San Francisco and Los Angeles who argued that the ride service gave customers a “false sense of security” by touting its background checks as the toughest in the industry. The suit, brought by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey, alleged that Uber misled consumers by suggesting its driver-screening process was superior to the ones used by taxi companies. Taxi drivers are vetted with fingerprint checks, whereas Uber drivers are not. The suit also questioned Uber’s compliance with California laws regarding airport rides and fare calculation. Uber will pay $10 million within 60 days. The remaining $15 million penalty will be waived in two years if Uber complies with all of the settlement’s terms. “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,” said Gascón.

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