Uber’s license to operate in London, England, has been revoked for the second time due to potential safety risks for passengers, NBC reported Monday. Transport for London, also known as TfL, declared this week that the license would not extend past midnight on Monday evening. However, the ride share company has moved to appeal the decision.
TfL claims to have identified “a pattern of failures” in Uber’s operations in the city, which has allegedly put thousands of passengers at risk. The biggest concern was that there had been an alarming change in Uber’s identification system. Unauthorized drivers were able to upload their own photos to verified Uber drivers’ accounts, which led to 14,000 unauthorized trips made in recent months.
“This means all the journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys took place with unlicensed drivers, one of which had previously had their licence revoked by TfL,” the transport regulator said.
In addition, previously suspended or fired Uber drivers were able to create new accounts and book rides again, leading to several “insurance-related issues.”
TfL, with mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s support, has said that it “can’t be confident that Uber has the robust processes in place to prevent another serious safety breach in the future.”
Uber is not going down without a fight. The business has already announced its plan to appeal TfL’s decision, calling it “extraordinary and wrong,” per Newsweek.
In a tweet on Monday, Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi declared that the company has “come very far” and “will keep going for the millions of drivers and riders who rely on us.”
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s General Manager for Northern & Eastern Europe, argued that Uber has made significant changes in the last two years and are “setting the standard on safety.”
Heywood explained in a statement that Uber has audited every one of their London drivers and introduced systems to confirm drivers’ identities. In addition, he revealed that the company will add facial recognition software for drivers.
Uber has 21 days to appeal TfL’s ruling and make necessary changes by their next court hearing. In that time, they can continue to operate as usual in London.
Newsweek predicts that a failed appeal could “put driver contracts at risk.”
This is the second time that TfL has taken issue with Uber’s operations, according to CNN. The company was previously at risk of having its London license revoked in 2017 due to Uber’s way of handling “serious crimes.”
Uber appealed the decision and was granted permission to operate for 15 months, followed by a two-month extension in September.
It is unclear at this time what the second appeal process will mean for their future. However, it is no secret that Uber has already been struggling financially, as The New York Times reported a loss of $5.2 billion in August.