“This doesn’t happen with other treadmills,” said a federal official in an interview with The Washington Post. In the case of at-home fitness company Peloton’s Tread+ treadmill, “this” is multiple reports of children and other users being pulled under the device during its operation. At least one child has died so far, and a significant number of injury reports have also been filed.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission got involved and issued an “urgent warning” about the dangers of the Tread+’s design. “Given the hazard patterns that have been reported involving children in homes with this product,” the agency said through a spokesman, “the public health and safety warrant a warning of this nature.”
The company had been reluctant to recall the 455-pound, $4,295 treadmill and had accused the CPSC of “mischaracterizing the situation.” Company spokesperson Jessica Kleiman told Business Insider in a recent interview that Peloton’s treadmill “is safe for use at home when operated as directed and in accordance with our warnings and safety instructions.”
Initially, the company took the unusual step of using a video of a child stuck under a Tread+ treadmill that had been previously cited by the CPSC in its own defense. “The importance of following Peloton’s safety warnings and instructions is abundantly clear in the video,” said the company. Statements from Peloton have also reiterated the importance of removing the Tread+’s safety key when the equipment is not in use.
Finally, Peloton has recalled its Tread+ and Tread treadmills. Peloton went a step further and admitted that the company was wrong to have fought the CPSC’s recall request, including the CEO issuing a statement admitting they had made a “mistake” and “should have engaged more productively” with the agency.