Uber, just a simple technology company that wants to make your life better and is definitely not responsible for the behavior of any drivers using its app, admitted Friday that it never background checked a Dallas driver with a fake permit who allegedly raped a female passenger.
Talal Chammout, 56, has been charged with sexual assault in a July 25 incident where he allegedly dropped off a passenger, then followed her into her home and raped her. If Uber had run a background check using city databases that were available to them, they would have found he was ineligible to drive because of a prior felony weapons conviction that put him in prison for six years.
Apparently, Chammout’s began his relationship with Uber in January 2014 as a non-driving partner, representing his family’s limo business. Although he provided the driver permit that was later revealed as a fake registered under someone’s else’s expired number, Uber didn’t vet him because he was listed as “will not be driving.”
When Chammout decided in April 2015 that he would be driving, he was “mistakenly granted access” without any further vetting. Uber admits that, “The fact that his license was fake means he never underwent either a City of Dallas or Uber background check.”
“In this instance, we failed to live up to our own high standards, for which we are truly sorry,” an Uber spokesperson told WFAA. “We are determined to learn from the mistakes that were made so we can do better in the future. Our thoughts are with the victim and her family.”
Uber says it will review every driver using its platform in Dallas to suss out any other fraudulent permits.