Word on the street is that the Auto Task Force was pushing hard for General Motors and Chrysler to to dump dealerships during bankruptcy. In all, some 2,150 dealers got the axe, reportedly saving the struggling Detroit automakers big bucks while helping to ensure that remaining dealers were healthier. But while the government's Auto Task Force may have been the driving force that kicked dealers to the curb, the U.S. Congress, in an effort led by Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), is looking to put those same dealers (read: donors) back in business.

The $446 billion spending bill President Obama signed earlier this week contains new legislation requiring GM and Chrysler to send out letters to every rejected dealer informing them of their rights to arbitration. Dealers interested in filing arbitration will then have 40 days to submit their intention to file. From there, arbitration must be completed within six months. Automotive News reports that the new law is substantially more dealer-friendly than the old law, and requires GM and Chrysler to spell out exactly why each dealership contract was terminated.

In an earlier report, Automotive News reported that it could cost dealers up to $12,000 in arbitration filing fees and up to $100,000 in arbitration depending on the complexity of the case.

[Source: Automotive News sub. req'd | Image: Spencer Platt/Getty]

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