Los Angeles Business Journal

Settlement Reached Halting Alleged Fake Reviews on Edmunds.com

By Natalie Jarvey Thursday, August 29, 2013

Edmunds.com has reached a settlement with the Texas company it accused of posting fake reviews to its auto information website.

The Santa Monica company announced Thursday that Humankind Design Ltd. has agreed to stop registering accounts and posting reviews on the Edmunds website. Humankind will also provide Edmunds with the information for all accounts it did register and will pay Edmunds' legal fees.

"This is undoubtedly a victory not just for the millions of online users who rely on dealership reviews and ratings from fellow car shoppers, but also for the thousands of honest dealers who embrace authentic customer feedback," Seth Berkowitz, Edmunds president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

He added that the company screens all reviews before they are posted to the website and will continue to do so.

Humankind did not respond to a request for comment.

Edmunds filed suit against Humankind in Texas in July. The suit alleged that Humankind, which operated a website called GlowingReviews.com, had created more than 2,000 accounts to post positive reviews of car dealers.

Humankind owner Justin Anderson told Bloomberg News at the time that his company did not post fake reviews, but transcribed and posted reviews left on comment cards at dealerships.

Edmunds said it has reached out to other review websites, including Yelp and Citysearch, to which Humankind said it has posted reviews.