Uber, a ridesharing startup worth more than $40 billion, could be hit with a $7.3 million fine and suspended in its home state for failing to provide required information, the California Public Utilities Commission said in a note issued Wednesday.
The CPUC, which regulates companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, said Uber failed to provide the agency with information regarding how many customers requested vehicles with accessibility features. The startup also did not report information regarding what percent of requested rides were accepted by UberX drivers or information detailing the cause of every driving incident involving an UberX driver, the CPUC said.
This information is critical for the CPUC so it can regulate ridesharing companies "in a manner that promotes public safety," the agency said, adding that Uber was the only ridesharing company that failed to comply with regulations introduced in 2013.
Uber has 30 days to pay the hefty fine and provide the CPUC with the reporting requirements or the agency will suspend the company's UberX ridesharing service. The company can also delay the suspension by appealing the decision, a spokesman for the CPUC said.
In a response to the decision, Uber said it was deeply disappointed and would appeal the fine.
“Uber has already provided substantial amounts of data to the California Public Utilities Commission, information we have provided elsewhere with no complaints," the company said in a statement. "Going further risks compromising the privacy of individual riders as well as driver-partners. These CPUC requests are also beyond the authority of the Commission and will not improve public safety. It is important to note there will be no suspension while the appeal is heard."
For Uber, this is the latest round of legal trouble the startup faces across its many markets. Previously, the company has been banned, partially banned and suspended from numerous cities and countries around the globe, but as Uber is based in San Francisco, this particular situation will likely rise to the top of its priority list.