Peloton has agreed to recall two of its pricey treadmill models and issued an apology for how it handled the situation after dozens of injuries and one child’s death were tied to the machines.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Wednesday that both the Peloton Tread and Peloton Tread Plus were being recalled in exchange for a full refund, affecting about 126,000 treadmills.
The New York–based company, which is also known for its stationary bikes and online exercise classes, had spent the past few weeks trying to avoid a potential recall after safety regulators issued a warning about the Tread Plus last month.
“The decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton’s Members and their families,” the company’s CEO, John Foley, said in a statement, which also emphasized how Peloton had “made a mistake” in its initial response to federal safety regulators.
“We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize,” Foley said.
“In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission said on April 17. A disturbing video released with the announcement showed how the Tread Plus can trap toys and small children.
In one incident, a 6-year-old died after being pulled under the rear of a Tread Plus. Foley acknowledged the death mid-March in an open letter.
As pressure to recall the treadmills mounted in April, Foley said in a follow-up letter, “I want to assure you that we have no intention of doing so.”
The machine “is safe when our warnings and safety instructions are followed, and we know that, every day, thousands of Members enjoy working out safely,” Foley wrote.
The company also said in a statement that it was “troubled” by federal regulators’ decision to recommend recalling its treadmills, characterizing the recommendation as “inaccurate and misleading” because the machines are safe when “all warnings and safety instructions are followed.”
Peloton Tread Plus retails for about $4,300. Around 125,000 are in use.
The Peloton Tread, which sells for about $2,500, is being recalled for a different reason ― its screen can loosen and fall off, which has only caused minor injuries to date. Around 1,050 are in use in the U.S., and around 5,400 in Canada.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has so far received 72 reports of adult users, children, pets and objects being pulled underneath the machines, leading to injuries including “second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations.”
For customers who do not want to give up their treadmill, Peloton is offering to pay to move the machine to a room where children or pets cannot access it, the federal agency said. The company is also expected to roll out a software update that adds safety mechanisms.
But Peloton’s safety woes go further than the product recall. According to TechCrunch, the company’s setup allows consumer data to be pulled by third parties without users’ consent, posing a potential security risk.