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Peloton recalls treadmills after child's death and others' reported injuries

Peloton recalls treadmills after child dies
Peloton recalls treadmills after child dies 01:26

Peloton Interactive is recalling both its Tread+ and Tread treadmills following more than 70 incidents, including the death of one child and 29 other instances where users sustained injuries such as broken bones and cuts, the company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Wednesday.

The recalls come a month after the CPSC warned households with children and pets to immediately stop using Peloton Tread+ treadmills, and two months after Peloton cautioned people to keep children and pets away from its exercise equipment but resisted requests to immediately recall the machines that can weigh more than 450 pounds.

The company has halted sales of the Tread+ as it works on hardware modifications, and Peloton CEO John Foley apologized for not acting more quickly to recall the treadmills, as requested by the CPSC.

"The decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton's members and their families. I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response," Foley said in a statement. "We believe strongly in the future of at-home connected fitness and are committed to work with the CPSC to set new industry safety standards for treadmills."

Consumer advocates offered qualified praise in response to the recalls announced Wednesday.

"The CPSC took a strong and principled stance for safety, and clearly that's what made Peloton come to the table and agree to offer a full refund," William Wallace, Consumer Reports' manager of safety policy, said in a statement. "It shouldn't have required so much time and effort to get this product recalled."

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Recalled Peloton Tread and Peloton Tread Plus Treadmills U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

While the company at first refused to recall the treadmills, "we applaud them for doing the right thing now," Nancy Cowles, executive director of advocacy group Kids In Danger,  said in a separate statement. "Considering the demographics of Peloton users, it was clear that children would be around the product and the danger might not be clear to their parents. Designing safety into a product is always more effective than warnings."

Wall Street, however, offered a decisive thumbs down to the developments, with shares of Peloton falling by $13.48, or 14%, to $83.22 in early afternoon trade.

"While we believe Peloton can remedy both Tread issues, we think the recalls likely call into question Peloton's hardware quality control efforts, and Peloton's initial refute of the CPSC claims now look misguided," analysts with investment bank Raymond James said in a note.

Peloton is best known for its stationary bikes, but introduced the treadmill about three years ago and now calls it the Tread+. Roughly 125,000 of the Tread+ machines were sold online and at Peloton showrooms from September 2018 through early 2021 for about $4,295 each. 

The two recalls come after the recent death of a six-year-old who was pulled under the rear of the treadmill, CPSC and Peloton said. 

Peloton has received 72 reports of adult users, children, pets and various objects being pulled under the back of its treadmills. Of those, there were 29 reports of injuries to children such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations, according to the recalls posted by the CPSC.

People who have purchased either treadmill should immediately stop using it and contact the company for a refund or a repair that Peloton is working on and expects to offer to users in coming weeks. 

Lock-up option in the works

Owners of the Tread+ have until November 6, 2022, to contact the company for a full refund; partial refunds will be offered after that date. Peloton is offering those who don't want a refund the option of moving the Tread+ without charge to a room where children and pets can't reach the treadmill. It is also implementing software upgrades to automatically lock the Tread+ after each use and require a four-digit passcode to unlock the machine, according to the recall notice.

A separate recall involving the Peloton Tread comes because its touchscreen can detach and fall, posing a risk of injury to users. There have been 18 reports of the touchscreen loosening and six where it detached and fell. No injuries have been reported in the U.S., but minor injuries including cuts and bruises were reported in Canada and the U.K.

Tread owners can contact the company for a full refund or can instead wait for a free inspection and repair to secure the touchscreen, once that fix is available. 

About 1,545 Peloton Tread treadmills were sold in the U.S. and Canada from November 2020 through March 2021 for about $2,495.

Consumers can contact Peloton toll-free at (844) 410-0141 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends or online at www.onepeloton.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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