All 25m passengers who used the service in the US between January 2013 and January 2016 will receive money.

Car-sharing service app Uber

Uber has agreed to the payout after a US lawsuit

Uber has agreed to pay $28.5m (£19.6m) to its US customers to settle two class-action lawsuits over its “safe rides” fee.

It has agreed to stop using phrases like “the safest ride on the road” and “gold-standard background checks” in its advertising, after plaintiffs said customers may have been misled.

Uber said its “safe rides” fee enabled industry-leading background checks on would-be drivers.

But Uber didn’t do the kind of fingerprint checks required of taxi drivers.

As part of the settlement, Uber says it will rename the fee as a “booking fee”, which will go towards operating costs and background checks.

The class action covers all 25m passengers who used Uber in the US between 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2016.

But after legal fees, the riders are likely to receive only about a dollar each.

The judge must approve the settlement first, in a process that could take up to six months.

The “safe rides” fee varies from city to city – standing at $1.20 in Seattle, and $1.35 in San Francisco. No fee is applied in New York.

Uber has pointed out that its technology – such as GPS tracking and sharing driver’s photo identification and number plate before the passenger gets into the car – does improve safety.

A spokesman said: “We are glad to put these cases behind us and we will continue to invest in new technology and great customer services so that we can help improve safety in the cities we serve.”

Another critical class-action lawsuit against Uber in California could go to jury trial as early as June.

It will be decided whether Uber drivers should be considered employees or independent contractors, as they are currently.

If they are considered employees, they would be entitled to additional employee benefits.

Source: Sky News