Defense Department Employees File Class-Action Lawsuit Against Auto Shipping Contractor
Both former and current Defense Department employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against the vehicle shipping contractor, International Auto Logistics, currently in use by the U.S. Government. The lawsuit alleges that the employees have not seen their vehicles in over two months, and have met resistance on the part of the company in determining where, exactly, their cars are.
A total of six employees say that International Auto Logistics took hold of their cars within the first two weeks of June, but has yet to deliver the cars to their owners, or give information about where they are. If the six win the case, the award would be distributed to anyone who has been negatively impacted by the company’s actions. Damages, if won, are estimated to be worth over $5 million.
The government contract with the agency requires that it meets a 98% on-time delivery rate. On the same day that the lawsuit was filed, an email post — since confirmed as authentic — from U.S. Army Commander Sgt. Maj. James K. Sims was circulated throughout Facebook; the email indicated that of the almost 30,000 vehicles being handled by the logistics company, about 70% had been delivered late.
Although many auto shippers allow clients to purchase additional insurance to cover delays or wear and tear, this does not typically occur with International, since they are under government contract.
As a recent article posted by ABC7 points out, the problem isn’t just that U.S. Army troops have to go without their vehicles — the Army itself has to reimburse military families for the weeks, or even months, of costs associated with rental vehicles. These costs ultimately come from taxpayer money.
For its part, International Auto Logistics have been blaming the delays on the “difficult transition” as the government switched from one contractor to another, as well as a high summer volume.
“IAL has made significant progress in the POV delivery process, as 90% of vehicles dropped off after August 1st are being delivered or tracking to be delivered on time,” explained a publicized statement the company released last week.