Posted in News on May 3, 2021
After 39 incidents of injury and the death of a child, U.S. safety regulators urged Peloton to recall its $4,295 Tread+ Treadmill in April. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also released a video that depicts another child getting dragged under the treadmill, and struggling to free himself. He was reaching for his ball when the running machine pulled it under, along with him. In spite of the safety warnings and a recent lawsuit filed against them, Peloton refuses to recall Tread+.
How Are Peloton’s Treadmills Designed Differently?
According to the CPSC, Peloton’s treadmills are designed differently ‒ with “an unusual belt design that uses individual rigid rubberized slats or treads that are interlocked and ride on a rail.” While this design may make running easier on the legs and knees, it poses certain dangers and threats of injuries to kids and pets. There is a significant gap between the treadmill’s belt and the floor, allowing a running treadmill to pull kids and objects under it.
CPSC Warnings and Peloton’s Response
On April 17, the CPSC sent out an urgent warning to consumers to stop using the Peloton Tread+ if they had children or pets, and that the machine poses serious risks for kids. The issue with safe use frequently occurs when the child has unsupervised access to the treadmill or is around while the parent is using it. These serious risks include abrasions, fractures, and even death. The CPSC, however, only has the power to issue a voluntary recall.
Peloton responded by calling the CPSC warning “inaccurate and misleading,” and stated that they had no intention of recalling the treadmill. The company benefited due to the pandemic and saw a revenue increase from $915 million in 2019 to $1.8 billion in 2020. It advised its consumers that they could continue using the treadmill as long as they turned it off when not in use, removed its safety key and kept kids and pets away.
Has Peloton Recalled Other Products?
Peloton has complied with the CPSC in the past. Just last year, Peloton issued a recall on 27,000 bikes after reports of injuries requiring medical treatment – stating there was no greater priority than the safety and well-being of their customers.
Treadmill recalls are rare and there haven’t been any since 2008. However, prior recalls were issued for reasons far less serious than those reported for Peloton’s Tread+.
Lawsuit Against Peloton
A California woman filed a class-action lawsuit against Peloton, claiming that Peloton has known or should have known of the potential dangers of the product and did not properly warn its consumers. The product isn’t safe around children, yet the company has advertised the treadmill as family-friendly – featuring a mom and child exercising next to the treadmill.
Lawmakers Push for Change
On April 22, a group of U.S. lawmakers introduced a bill that would give regulators the power to recall potentially dangerous products, with or without the company’s compliance. This new legislation ‒ the Sunshine in Product Safety Act – would revoke Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, which protects manufacturers while restricting regulators from disclosing information and enforcing recalls.
If you own Peloton’s Tread+, take immediate safety precautions for yourself and for your children. If you or your child has been harmed by the machine, report your incident to CPSC or call CPSC’s Hotline at 800-638-2772.