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Feds warn against using Peloton treadmills after child's death

Urgent warning issued over Peloton treadmill
Urgent warning issued over Peloton treadmill 01:30

Households with children and small pets should immediately stop using Peloton Interactive's Tread+ treadmills, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is investigating the death of one child and dozens of other incidents involving the exercise equipment.

The urgent warning from the federal agency comes a month after Peloton urged people to keep kids and pets away from its exercise equipment after the death of a child in an accident involving one of its Tread+ treadmills. 

The CPSC released a disturbing video of a child being momentarily trapped under a Tread+ to demonstrate its hazard to children.

Peloton Tread+ Treadmill Safety Incident by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on YouTube

CPSC knows of 39 incidents, including one death, and "believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death," the agency said Saturday in a news release. Citing "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." 

At least one case occurred while a parent was running on the treadmill, "suggesting that the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use," the agency stated. Reports of a pet and objects getting sucked beneath the machine also suggest possible harm to the person exercising as they could lose their balance as a result, CPSC added.

CEO's warning

Peloton CEO John Foley urged people to keep kids and pets away from its exercise equipment last month. "I recently learned about a tragic accident involving a child and the Tread+, resulting in, unthinkably, a death," Foley stated.

Beyond keeping children and animals away from the equipment, Foley stressed keeping the equipment's safety key out of easy reach when not being used. The Tread+ costs $4,295 and is designed for people who weigh more than 105 pounds and are older than 16. 

Most known for its home-workout bike outfitted with a screen that lets users watch live or videotaped classes while cycling, Peloton introduced the Tread+ in 2018 and has said it would introduce a less-pricey version for $2,495 expected to ship in May.

Injuries related to exercise equipment sent more than 68,000 people to U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2019, including an estimated 2,000 treadmill-related injuries in children under 8, according to the latest available CPSC data

Peloton in October recalled about 27,000 bikes sold nationwide to replace pedals that can break and cut riders' legs. The company said it received 120 reports of pedals breaking, with 16 cases resulting in injuries. 

Peloton says treadmill "is safe"

In a follow-up blog on Sunday, Foley said the company was cooperating with the CPSC, but that it had not relinquished personally identifiable information of members who had specifically requested it not do so. 

"I imagine some members asked for their information to be protected in order to avoid personal attacks like some that we've seen in response to the Tread+ incidents that CPSC publicized yesterday. Our hearts go out to members who have had an incident where a child or pet was injured and who want their privacy at this time," Foley wrote.

Further, Peloton has no plans to stop selling or recall the Tread+, which he reiterated "is safe when our warnings and safety instructions are followed."

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