Defense contractor fails to ship soldiers' cars
Posted September 12, 2014
Spring Lake, N.C. — A Georgia company that has a $1 billion contract to move the personal vehicles of U.S. service members who are assigned to new duty stations faces a class-action lawsuit from military personnel who claim they have gone months without their cars because of delays and mismanagement.
International Auto Logistics has a contract to transport about 68,000 vehicles a year. Military officials said that the company had processed 27,358 vehicles as of Aug. 19, and about 70 percent hadn't been delivered on time. The contract requires a 98 percent on-time delivery rate.
"You have people who have been waiting at least five months. I've just been waiting three months right now," said Sgt. First Class Karen Lassiter, whose car was supposed to be shipped from Korea to Fort Bragg after she was reassigned.
Lassiter said she's spent $1,854 to rent a pickup while waiting to get her car back.
"I'm hoping I'm going to get my money back, but so far, it's been out of pocket," she said.
She said she has repeatedly called International Auto Logistics seeking answers.
"What's the update? What's the status? To this day, they're still saying it's in California waiting for a clearance for customs," she said.
Army Transportation Command, in Illinois, has the contract with International Auto Logistics, and Maj. Matthew Gregory said the command is working to get vehicles back to their owners.
"(We're trying) to help soldiers find where their car is in the system," Gregory said, "helping them get the claims that they need for the rental cars."
After Lassiter got in touch with Army Transportation Command, the military agreed to pay for her rented pickup for the next 30 days.
Gregory said the Army wants soldiers to first try to work out the problem with International Auto Logistics. If anyone doesn't get a response from the company, he said, they can email the Inspector General's office at Usarmy.firstname.lastname@example.org.