Fitness company Peloton announced it is voluntarily recalling both its Tread+ and Tread treadmill machines over safety concerns. This comes after the Peloton Tread + treadmill was involved in an accident that caused a child’s tragic death earlier this year, and following additional reports of child injuries.
This is a major reversal from the company’s initial reaction, where Peloton CEO John Foley doubled down on statements that the equipment was safe. However, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning about the Tread+ on Saturday, April 17. The statement included a link to shocking footage of a child being forcefully pulled under the treadmill belt.
WARNING: The contents of this video may be disturbing to some readers. [Original video link from the CPSC below.]
At the time, the agency said it was aware of 39 incidents involving the treadmill, including one child death.
“CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death,” the statement read. “In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urgers consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately.”
Peloton’s Original Danger Denial
In March, Foley announced the fatal incident involving a child on the company’s website.
“While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved,” Foley said in a statement.
The CEO went on to advise users to keep children and pets away from the treadmill and to remove its safety key when not in use.
However, the CPSC report warned that some incidents have occurred while a parent was using the treadmill, “suggesting that the hazard cannot be avoided by simply locking the device when not in use.”
In response to the CPSC report, Foley initially said his company had “no intention” of suspending sales of the Tread+ or initiating a recall.
“The Tread+ is safe when our warnings and safety instructions are followed, and we know that, every day, thousands of Members enjoy working out safely on their Tread+,” Foley said.
Instead, the CEO urged customers to “stay vigilant.”
“Remember, the Tread+ is not for children under 16, and children, pets and objects need to be kept away from the Tread+ at all times,” said Foley. The statement also promised the rollout of “a new software-enabled, backup access code that will provide an additional layer of protection against unwanted use of the Tread+.”
Meanwhile, a separate press release from Peloton called the CPSC report “inaccurate and misleading.” It also stated, “There is no reason to stop using the Tread+ as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed.”
Reversal and Recall
Today, Peloton apologized for its previous response.
“I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+,” Foley said in a statement Wednesday. “We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”
According to CNBC, Peloton shares tumbled more than 9% on the news. This is a huge blow to a company that saw skyrocketing business during the pandemic when gyms were closed and consumers began purchasing the company’s home equipment or subscribing to their workout app.
Peloton is now advising customers with the treadmills to immediately stop using them and contact the company for a full refund or other qualified remedies. The repair Foley mentioned in his original press release from April is still in the works.
The recall affects approximately 125,000 Tread+ machines and roughly 1,050 Tread products in the United States.