Business

San Francisco, LA Threaten Ride-Share Companies

San Francisco and Los Angeles want ride-share companies to change the language used to describe background checks.

San Francisco, LA Threaten Ride-Share Companies
KPIX

Ride-share companies are being threatened with legal action by the San Francisco and Los Angeles district attorneys.

KTVU"Prosecutors won't talk about all the details ... but they do say some ride-share operators may be violating the law in how they charge for rides and that some companies are making illegal and misleading claims about driver background checks."

While the Los Angeles Times says the San Francisco district attorney wouldn't specify what companies were feeling the heat, everyone has pretty much figured out it's Uber, Lyft and Sidecar.

A Sidecar spokesperson has even come out saying what the company is doing is not illegal. 

Several media outlets obtained a copy of the letter the San Francisco district attorney and Los Angeles district attorney sent to Sidecar. The letter says the company is "making misleading representations" about its background checks. 

On Sidecar's website, it does say it conducts background checks on its drivers, "including driving violations, DUI, sexual assault and other criminal offenses."

But the DA's office seems to think that's misleading, saying in the letter it makes it seem like the company screens out any drivers who have "ever committed driving violations, DUI, sexual assault and other criminal offenses."

So far, Uber and Lyft have stayed mum on the issue, but there has been bad press before this, too. (Video via KNXV)

KPIX"There have been some problems in San Francisco, including in June. An Uber driver with a previous drug conviction was charged with hitting a passenger."

And in June, taxi drivers protested the ride-sharing apps, saying they were unregulated and unsafe. The Los Angeles Times reports Uber responded, saying it does require drivers to pass a background check.

One of the things the letters demands is that the background-check language be changed. The chief executive of Sidecar told The Wall Street Journal he was surprised by the threat of injunction.