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Murray Calls on Defense Department to Reevaluate Vehicle Shipment Contract

Sep 30 2014

In letter, Murray calls on DoD to expedite delivery of servicemembers’ personal vehicles after “inexcusable performance” by military contractor

Washington servicemember and family have been waiting over four months for delivery

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), sent a letter to General Paul Selva, Commander of the United States Transportation Command, regarding the performance of a military contractor responsible for shipping servicemembers’ personal vehicles during change-of-station. Since International Auto Logistics (IAL) began processing servicemember vehicles in May, Senator Murray has heard from several Washington state servicemembers and their families who have been adversely affected by IAL’s poor performance. The Department of Defense (DoD) has also received complaints from others nationwide who have been forced to pay up front and out-of-pocket for rental vehicles, before being reimbursed, and have been unable to receive a status update on the location of their personal vehicle. 

“Moving a family from one continent to another is stressful enough, and it is completely unacceptable that our servicemembers and their families have to deal with the additional burden of not knowing where their vehicle is or when it will arrive,” wrote Senator Murray in the letter.

IAL’s contract requires 98 percent of vehicles be delivered on time and that they provide a website where servicemembers can track their vehicles through the shipment process. However, for the first several months of the contract, IAL delivered only 20 percent of vehicles on time and as of early September, the website was still “not where IAL wants it to be” according to a company spokesperson.

Full text of the letter:

Dear General Selva:

I write to express my concern with the ongoing failure of International Auto Logistics (IAL), whose contract you supervise, to provide servicemembers with their vehicles in a timely and transparent manner.  As you know, IAL is responsible for transporting servicemembers’ personally owned vehicles between duty stat ions.

Their contract requires that 98 percent of vehicles be delivered on time and that they provide a website where servicemembers could track their vehicles progress from drop-off to pick up.  Yet, for the first several months of the contract, IAL delivered only 20 percent of vehicles on-time and the website was still "not where IAL wants it to be" in earl y September.

Moving a family from one continent to another is stressful enough, and it is completely unacceptable that our servicemembers and their families have to deal with the additional burden of not knowing where their vehicle is or when it will arrive.  In addition, some young military families were forced to bear the cost of a rental car and lodging for multiple trips to delivery sites, while waiting to be reimbursed  by I AL. In fact, several of my constituents  have been adversely impacted by IAL's incompetence, including one family whose vehicle has been in transit for over four months.

I fully expect the Department  of Defense to make every effort to expedite the return of the cars that families have been without for months.  Further, I expect IA L's poor performance  thus far will be fully considered when you determine whether or not to renew their contract, or to terminate the current contract.  Finally, I would like to know what you plan to do in the future to ensure that the same inexcusable performance  is not repeated  when a new contractor takes over this responsibility for the Department.

Thank you for your service and for your attention to this issue.  I look forward to hearing from you about how this situation will be quickly resolved on behalf of our servicemembers and their families.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator