Watchdog: Reuniting military families with missing vehicles is now 'top focus'

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) – The director of personal property for the U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command tells the ABC 7 Watchdog team his top focus is reuniting military families who claim their vehicles have gone missing after being shipped by a new federal contractor. U.S. Navy Captain Aaron Stanley says the level of performance by International Auto Logistics "is not where it needs to be."

Stanley says military leadership has made trips to IAL's headquarters in Georgia, as well as Vehicle Processing Centers in various areas across the country. Of the 27,000 customers whose vehicles are involved in the shipping process at this moment, Stanley says 8,000 recently had their vehicles delivered, while another 2,000 vehicles are currently sitting at VPCs.

SDDC cannot provide an exact count on how many vehicles of the remaining 10,000 vehicles are currently past their Required Delivery Date, or RDD. Hundreds complaining about the problem on Facebook say their cars have long gone past their delivery dates, with some waiting more than 30 to 60 days without being notified of delivery.

IAL has made improvements to its process, Stanley says, and that's reflected in inquiries made into the call center set up to handle customer complaints. Stanley says the figure has gone down from 1,800 calls on the first day the center opened, to 500 in a 24-hour period earlier this week. Still, he says IAL has a long way to go to straighten out the problems.

"I empathize with you," Stanley said of the military members forced to wait for their vehicles. "I have been where you are. This is my top focus."

As for those calling for IAL's lucrative contract to be revoked, Stanley says that's an alternative if the company cannot perform. But he says the focus now is giving the contractor the ability to fulfill its promise. IAL has submitted a detailed plan to SDDC. Stanley says the company has told the military it hopes to have all issues resolved and be on track by the end of September.