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Arbitration bill gaining in Senate

November 24, 2010

Federal legislation that would forbid mandatory binding arbitration as part of manufacturer contracts with dealers has gathered the pre-vote support of 59 senators, one shy of the NADA goal of 60 cosponsors. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) was an early supporter of the legislation, "The Motor Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration Fairness Act."

The state's GOP senator, Peter Fitzgerald, has not pledged to cosponsor the bill. Dealers can appeal for Fitzgerald's endorsement of Senate Bill 1140 by calling the senator's Chicago office, 312-886-3506, or by e-mail at

The disparity in bargaining power between dealers and manufacturers is great. Dealers support legislation to ensure they are not coerced into binding arbitration. A similar bill (H.R. 1296) is navigating the House of Representatives. It has 199 cosponsors.