Getting to the bottom of dealership terminations

If laws were broken during last year’s terminations of General Motors and Chrysler dealerships, it’s time to get to the bottom of it.

My colleague, Neil Roland, reported Thursday that the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program is now investigating whether any illegal activity occurred in the effort to terminate 2,300 stores.

The $700 billion TARP bailout helped save GM and Chrysler. In July, an audit report by the same federal inspectors criticized the Obama administration, GM and Chrysler for how the dealership cuts were handled.

The terminations disrupted lives and livelihoods. The sight of shuttered dealerships is now commonplace in commercial landscapes across America.

Answers to whether anything illegal was done -- by anyone -- can’t come soon enough.