Years after the bankruptcies and subsequent bailouts of Chrysler (now FCA) and General Motors, the automotive industry is still seeing legal decisions about them come through the courts. The latest ruling from a US appeals court has given 4 of the 789 dealers that Chrysler closed in its Chapter 11 process one less hurdle towards reopening.

Following the bankruptcy, 105 of the shuttered dealers went through an arbitration process in hopes of reopening, and 32 won their arguments. However, a victory in that undertaking didn't necessarily mean that the stores could reestablish themselves. For these three showrooms in Michigan and one in Las Vegas, state laws allowed nearby competitors from the same automaker to stand in the way of restarting, according to Automotive News.

This problem brought yet another lawsuit, and a US district court found that the arbitration decisions did not overrule state laws. The latest appeals court ruling overturned that decision. However, as with many legal proceedings, the process for reopening for these dealers still isn't exactly easy.

The latest decision only covers the nearby dealers' ability to protest; it doesn't mandate FCA actually to open the stores again. According to a statement from Michael Palese of FCA legal communications to Automotive News, the ruling, "did not provide for reinstatement of the dealers who prevailed in arbitration, but only gave them a right to a 'customary and usual' letter of intent." It means for these showrooms to start selling again, now they need to work things out with Chrysler's new owner.

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