The peloton pushes back against a request from federal regulators to recall its treadmill to treadmill + after the product was involved in the death of a child last month Washington Post reported Friday.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission, som launched an investigation shortly after the incident, plans to issue a new consumer safety warning as soon as this Saturday, outlining the potential dangers of Peloton Tread +, according to officials who spoke to the outlet on condition of anonymity. The peloton has reportedly stopped this effort, negotiated with regulators about the wording and timing of a consumer alarm and questioned whether a full recall is even justified.
Peloton, a multi-billion-dollar training equipment maker and media company, came under fire last month after CEO and co-founder John Foley wrote a letter to the company’s website about the child’s death and called it a “tragic accident.” He revealed that the Peloton is aware of “a small handful of incidents involving the treadmill + where children have been injured”, and reiterated the product’s safety instructions warning users to keep children and pets away from Peloton equipment “at all times”.
Earlier this week, regulators issued an administrative subpoena to force a detained peloton to pass on information about the child who died as regulators continued their investigation into what exactly went wrong, officials said. Post sources said the CPSC has found “dozens” of incidents involving Peloton’s treadmill. These included reports of users experiencing injuries such as bone injuries and head trauma after being trapped under the equipment.
“This does not happen with other treadmills,” an official with knowledge of the case told Posten. “It’s a different danger pattern than you typically see.”
As noted by Bloomberg, CPSC received another worrying report about the treadmill + in February, when a 3-year-old boy sustained a “significant brain injury” after being pulled under the treadmill. When his father discovered him, the child was not breathing and needed to be resuscitated according to the report. The child was also found with “tread marks on the back that matched the slats of the treadmill, neck injury and petechiae in the face, probably from occlusion of blood flow.”
Based on the number of accidents and the severity of the reported injuries, CPSC staff decided to recommend that Peloton issue a product safety call, according to the officials with whom Norway Post spoke.
However, Peloton disagrees, claiming that misuse is to blame for these incidents rather than product design.
The peloton “does not believe a recall is necessary,” a company spokesman said in a statement to the Post, adding that Tread + “is safe to use when the warnings and safety instructions we provide are followed.”
It should be noted that the Peloton may also be fighting for a recall due to the timing, as int is Budget treadmill model is put up for sale next month. While the Tread + costs $ 4,295, this new model has a price that is about half that of $ 2,495. Issuing a safety call for one of its treadmills just a few weeks before it rolls out can negatively affect another consumer’s confidence and affect sales. (Clearly, a company’s profits should never come before consumer safety, but hey, that’s it capitalism for you).
The peloton did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request, but we will update this blog when they do. A spokesman for the company made the following statement to The edge:
We are disappointed that the CPSC is characterizing the situation incorrectly. Peloton Tread + is safe for use at home when operated as instructed and in accordance with our warnings and safety instructions. As a reminder, Tread + is not for children under the age of 16, and children, pets and objects should always be kept away from Tread +. The peloton is 100% committed to the safety of our members and we will always be open to working with the CPSC to implement effective safety measures. When Tread + is not in use, members should continue to follow the safety instructions by keeping the safety key that keeps the Tread + running, out of the Tread + and out of the reach of children.
Tread + is not Peloton’s first product that users have reported any serious issues with. Last year, the company issued a recall for clamping pedals which unexpectedly breaks down during use and causes ulcers and other injuries. The recall affected an estimated 27,000 bicycles.