Uber agrees $20m settlement for misleading driver earnings claim

Uber has agreed to pay $20 million (£16,252,235) to settle a claim that it misled prospective drivers by exaggerating how much they could earn in certain cities.

The claim, which was brought forward by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alleges that Uber exaggerated the hourly and yearly income drivers could earn in particular cities, as well as details of its vehicle financing options, in a bid to attract new drivers.

In job listings featured on Uber’s website, the annual median incomes were advertised at more than $90,000 (£73,230.27) in New York and $74,000 (£60,211.55) in San Francisco. However, the FTC claims that a typical driver’s annual median income for these cities was $61,000 (£49,633.85) and $53,000 (£43,124.49), respectively.

In addition, the claim contends that Uber’s Vehicle Solutions Programme advertised that drivers could own a car for $140 (£114) a week or lease a car for $119 (£97) a week. The FTC found that between late 2013 and April 2015 the median weekly payments exceeded $160 (£130) and $200 (£163), respectively.

The $20 million settlement will be used to refund affected drivers in the US. The stipulated order also prohibits Uber from misrepresenting drivers’ earnings, auto-finance terms and lease terms in the future.