Bummer for the Grom!
Honda Motors has issued a safety recall to owners and a rare "stop sell" notice to dealers, alerting them to a possible fuel pump failure on the popular 2014 Grom motorcycles.
The midget motorbikes have a possible defect that can cause the pumps to seize, resulting in engines that won't start or engines that stop, suddenly, while operating.
The Grom is a small-statured 125cc motorcycle that took the two-wheeled world by storm when it was first introduced in late 2013. Demand was so high that new models were being sold for as much as $2,000 over their $2,999 MSRP. (The base price has now risen to $3,199.)
The recall notice affects all of the roughly 7,742 Groms sold to date. Dealers will replace fuel pumps for free, the company said. Meanwhile, they are being told not to sell any Groms that are using the original fuel pumps.
The name for the Grom is said by Honda to have come from the slang word "grommet," a slightly derogatory term for a newbie surfer.
The tiny bikes, which weigh only 225 pounds and get up to 100 miles per gallon, proved popular with a wide variety of riders.
At a Honda dealer this week, a semi-professional supermoto racer and a woman who bought the Grom as her first motorcycle were among those who brought their Groms in for fuel pump replacements.
Overseas, where the Grom is known as the MSX125, groups of enthusiasts race the tiny bikes and perform stunts that are popular YouTube destinations. (Here is a sample.)
"I've been in the business 25 years, and I can't remember a unit that has had a wider cross-section of buyers," Huntington Beach Honda sales manager Greg Guthrie said when the Grom was being introduced.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its report on the Grom that some of Honda's Forza scooters are also affected by the recall.