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Consumer agency says consumers should stop using the Peloton Tread+ treadmill

The company disputes the results of the CPSC investigation

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Photo (c) Chay Chay Sae Hêng / EyeEm - Getty Images
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued an urgent warning to owners of the Peloton Tread+ treadmill after it said one child was killed in an accident and several others were injured.

The agency said it acted after an investigation, reporting that its staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses “serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death.”

The warnings drew strong pushback from the company, which said the treadmill is safe when safety rules are followed. Peloton said it reported to the CPSC in March when it learned of a child’s death caused by the machine. 

“On March 18, 2021, Peloton's co-founder and CEO John Foley sent an urgent reminder directly to Tread+ members to follow the critical warnings and safety instructions that accompany the Tread+, which state that children, pets, and objects should be kept clear of the Tread+ at all times,” the company said in a statement. “Members were also reminded to remove the safety key and store it out of the reach of children when an adult is not using the Tread+.”

‘Inaccurate and misleading’

Peloton said information in the CPSC press release about the incidents is “inaccurate and misleading” and said its efforts to aid in the investigation of the incidents were rejected.

The CPSC said its investigation turned up at least 39 reports of children, and one pet, being injured while the machine was in operation. It released a video showing one incident in which a child was injured. (Warning: Video content may be disturbing to some viewers.)

“In light of 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,” the agency said.

The CPSC believes that at least one incident 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. Reports of a pet and objects being sucked beneath the Tread+ also suggest possible harm to the user if the user loses balance.

All treadmills can be dangerous

Injuries caused by any kind of treadmill are not uncommon. The CPSC has reported that 24,000 Americans were treated for treadmill injuries at hospitals in 2014. However, that statistic includes patients treated for injuries from overuse, such as pulled muscles and tendons.

Deaths from treadmill accidents are said to be somewhat rare. In 2015, SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg died of a head injury after falling while using a treadmill at a resort.

According to Sadler, a sports and recreation insurance provider, the treadmill is among the riskiest of all workout equipment because it has a motor that propels it.

The CPSC says consumers who decide to keep using the Peloton+ treadmill should keep it in a locked room. They are also advised to keep all objects, including exercise balls and other equipment, away from the machine. When not in use, the agency says it should be unplugged.

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