What You Need To Know About Peloton’s Controversial Treadmill Recall

Photo: courtesy of Peloton.
Peloton has been in the news today, after the exercise equipment company announced that it was officially recalling its Tread+ and Tread treadmills. This decision was made after reports of numerous injuries involving the machine surfaced, including the death of a young child. In total, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it had received 72 reports of adults, children, pets and objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill.
Peloton is being criticized for recalling the treadmills sooner. The CPSC released a statement regarding the death, and 39 other reports of children being "entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product," in April 2020. The urgent warning stated that those with children at home should stop using their Tread+ treadmills, and said that those who continue to use the product should do so only in a locked room, to prevent children and pets from wandering nearby while the treadmill was in use.
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The CPSC said that the Peloton treadmills feature "an unusual belt design that uses individual rigid rubberized slats or treads that are interlocked and ride on a rail," and there's also a larger gap between the actual treadmill and the floor, which could contribute to how children are being pulled under it.
But Peloton initially pushed back on the CPSC's warning, calling it "inaccurate and misleading," and saying that there was no reason for consumers to stop using the machine if safety instructions were followed, such as removing the product's Safety Key when it was not in use. The company's initial statement also said that classes would include additional safety warnings, and shared strategies Peloton customers reportedly used to stay safe: "They schedule workouts during nap time or at night when children are asleep," the statement said. "Or they have a spouse or partner watch the children in another room. Some tell the company they use a baby gate to keep children, pets, and objects away from their fitness equipment." Now, however, the company is backtracking.
"Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+," John Foley, CEO of Peloton, said in a joint statement with the CPSC on Wednesday. "We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize," he said. "The decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton’s members and their families."
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"The agreement, which the Commission voted this morning to accept, requires Peloton to immediately stop selling and distributing both the Tread+ and Tread products in the United States and refund the full purchase price to consumers who wish to return their treadmills," said Robert S. Adler, acting chairman of the CPSC, in the joint statement.
"The agreement between CPSC and Peloton is the result of weeks of intense negotiation and effort, culminating in a cooperative agreement that I believe serves the best interests of Peloton and of consumers," Adler continued. "I would like to thank the CPSC technical staff who have worked tirelessly to protect consumers and to warn the public. Today we have taken steps to prevent further harm from these two products."
In response to a request for comment, a representative of Peloton directed Refinery29 to this official statement.
The fitness equipment has been the subject of some minor controversy before, but this is their first major crisis. Peloton shares have fallen as much as 14.6%, as the company urges consumers to contact them for a full refund of the $4,295 machine.

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