Accused of lax security, Uber pledges to do more

December 17, 2014, 9:28 PM UTC

Ride hailing service Uber said it was reviewing safety and procedures following allegations that it failed to properly screen drivers and that one of its drivers had raped a passenger.

In a blog post Thursday, Uber said it was looking at ways to improve background checks for drivers including using tools like voice recognition and by partnering with organizations focused on women’s safety. Uber also hired Tim Collins, a 15-year Amazon (AMZN) veteran who previously led its European operations, to head worldwide customer service.

“We owe it to all our riders, driver partners and communities around the world to examine what we can do better and then do everything we can to make more progress on safety,” Phillip Cardenas, head of global safety at Uber, said in the blog post.

Uber’s pledge for more stringent safety standards comes weeks after a 27-year-old female passenger accused Uber driver Shiv Kumar Yadav in India of raping her. Yadav, who was subsequently arrested and remains in custody, is an alleged repeat sexual offender, according to local media reports.

Additionally, Uber is facing civil suits by San Francisco and Los Angeles’s district attorneys, who accused the company of misrepresenting the quality of background checks it conducts on its drivers and for illegally servicing airports. Uber conceded no ground on the accusations and said it would try to resolve them through discussions with the district attorneys.

Uber also courted controversy late November when an executive suggested the company should dig up dirt on hostile journalists.