Peloton has issued a voluntary recall of its two treadmills, the Tread+ and the Tread, the company announced on May 5.
The Tread+ recall, which impacts about 125,000 units sold under model TR01, occurred after reports of injuries and one death in which people, pets and objects were pulled under the rear of the treadmill. The recall of the Tread (sold under model TR02) relates to the console detaching on some of the products.
A six-year-old child died in February after being pulled under the rear of the Tread+ as it was operating. Peloton has received 72 reports of adult users, children, pets and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones and lacerations, according to a release from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
In March, Peloton shared news of the child’s death and an injury to a second child. At that time, Peloton CEO John Foley urged consumers to ensure they used the product according to safety instructions but did not issue a recall.
On April 17, the CPSC warned the public not to use the Tread+ if they have young children or pets. At that time, Peloton called the CPSC warning “misleading and inaccurate” and declined to recall the product.
On April 20, a consumer class action lawsuit was filed against the company alleging that Peloton had advertised the product as being safe to use around children but that the product has a design flaw that makes it unsafe around children.
On April 29, a second lawsuit was filed on behalf of Peloton investors who allege that Peloton failed to tell investors that its Tread+ could injure or kill children and pets and that initially refusing to recall the product had caused the value of shares in the company’s stock to drop, negatively impacting Peloton investors. The company, which trades on Nasdaq under PTON, closed May 5 at $82.62 per share, an almost 15 percent decline from the day prior, dropping in market value by $4.1 billion in one day, according to CNBC.
On May 5, Peloton, in cooperation with the CPSC, issued the recalls.
Foley said in a media release that the company made a mistake with its initial response to the CPSC’s request to recall the Tread+.
“We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset,” he said. “For that, I apologize. Today’s announcement reflects our recognition that, by working closely with the CPSC, we can increase safety awareness for our members. 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. We have a desire and a responsibility to be an industry leader in product safety.”
Peloton has stopped the sale and distribution of the Tread+ as it continues to work on hardware modifications. The company and the CPSC are telling consumers who own one of the products to stop using it and contact Peloton by Nov. 6, 2022, for a full refund. Consumers who return the Tread+ treadmill after that date will receive a partial refund. The cost of the Tread+ is $4,295.
Peloton is offering consumers who do not want a refund the option of moving the Tread+ free of charge to a room where children or pets cannot access the treadmill. Peloton is implementing software improvements to the product to automatically lock the Tread+ after each use and prevent unauthorized access by assigning a four-digit passcode that will be required to unlock the Tread+.
The company is also developing additional modifications to the recalled Tread+ that will address the hazard. These modifications will be presented to the CPSC and, if approved, will be introduced into the product before Peloton resumes sales. Peloton did not have additional information about the modifications or a proposed timeline on their release.
The second voluntary recall involves Peloton’s Tread treadmill. The console on the Tread can detach and fall, posing a risk of injury to consumers, according to the notice on the CPSC website. Peloton is aware of 18 reports of the touchscreen loosening and six reports of the touchscreen detaching and falling. No injuries have been reported in the United States. Minor injuries such as abrasions, minor cuts and bruises have been reported in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Consumers should immediately stop using the Tread and contact Peloton for a full refund. Peloton is offering consumers who do not want a refund the option of waiting for a free inspection and repair that will secure the touchscreen to the treadmill to help prevent future incidents. CPSC and Peloton will provide an update when a timeline on that repair is made available.
In the United States, the Tread was sold as part of a limited invitation-only release from about November 2020 to about March 2021, resulting in about 1,050 units being distributed in the country.
During the COVID-19 pandemic when gyms were ordered closed in many states, Peloton’s revenue rose from $915 million in 2019 to $1.8 billion in 2020 due to people looking for ways to work out at home. Its market value reached a high of $49 billion in mid-January, according to CNBC.
Peloton will report its first quarter 2021 earnings after the market closes on May 6.