It looked like business as usual Wednesday at Jay Toyota in Columbus, but it wasn’t.
The local dealership was dealing with Toyota’s Tuesday announcement that the company would halt sales of some of its top-selling models to fix gas pedals that could stick and cause unintended acceleration.
The dealership has about 270 cars and trucks on the lot and about 120 of them were subject to the recall, General Manager John Hopkins said.
It was a blow to the local dealership because Toyota is the most popular selling automobile brand in Columbus, comprising more than 20 percent of the local market, Jay Automotive Group President Jay Stelzenmuller said.
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“I want to assure my customers that Toyota is the No. 1 car manufacturing company in the world and they are going to take care of this problem, and do it in short order,” said Jay Stelzenmuller.
But like most North American Toyota dealerships, Jay was left to follow the manufacturer’s lead.
The automaker said the U.S. sales suspension includes the following models: the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2009-2010 Matrix hatchback, the 2005-2010 Avalon large sedan, the 2010 Highlander crossover, the 2007-2010 Tundra pickup and the 2008-2010 Sequoia large SUV. It totals more than 2 million vehicles.
Jay was fielding calls from customers and putting plans in place to run keep the service department open for extended hours when the replacement gas pedal parts are shipped to the dealers.
“This is new ground for us, and we want to make sure that our customers are taken care of,” Hopkins said.
By lunch Wednesday, three Toyota owners had brought their vehicles by the dealership to see if they were part of the recall. One one was, Hopkins said.