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Peloton recalls all of its treadmills following numerous injury reports and one child death

The company admitted that it was a mistake not to recall the products earlier

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Photo (c) skynesher - Getty Images
Peloton has recalled its Tread+ and Tread treadmills following numerous injury reports and one child death. 

More than two weeks ago, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an urgent warning to owners of the company’s treadmill. The agency said its staff concluded, following an investigation, that the Peloton Tread+ poses “serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death.” 

At the time, Peloton said information in the CPSC press release about the incidents was “inaccurate and misleading.” But in announcing the recall on Wednesday, Peloton said it was “a mistake” to refuse the agency’s original request to recall the product. 

"I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the CPSC's request," said Peloton CEO John Foley. "We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize."

Entrapment hazard

To date, one child death and 70 other injuries have occured while these machines were in operation. Wednesday’s recall covers around 125,000 treadmills -- the company’s $4,295 Tread+ as well as its cheaper “Tread,” which costs $2,495 and hasn't yet been released in the U.S.

In a statement, CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler said that the announcement was the "result of weeks of intense negotiation and effort, culminating in a cooperative agreement that I believe serves the best interests of Peloton and of consumers."

Last month, the CPSC said there were "multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under" the machine. The federal agency released a video showing one incident in which a child was injured while playing with one of the company’s treadmills. In the video, the treadmill lifts off the ground and the child gets pinned underneath it. 

New standards 

In light of the risks posed by these treadmills, the CPSC urged consumers with children at home to “stop using the product immediately.” Peloton originally pushed back against the agency’s request to recall it, countering that its treadmill is safe when safety rules are followed.

Now, Peloton has admitted that it was wrong to take weeks to recall the treadmills instead of doing so immediately after the CPSC raised safety concerns. Foley said Peloton has agreed to work with the CPSC to "set new industry safety standards for treadmills" because the company has a "desire and a responsibility to be an industry leader in product safety."

In a statement, U.S. PIRG’s Consumer Watchdog Program Director Teresa Murray said it remains a dangerous problem that companies have the power to refuse to recall a product even if it’s been deemed hazardous by federal agencies.

“Peloton finally got the message that it should cooperate, but only because the CPSC was very loud with its public response to the company’s refusal to act,” Murray said. “The Consumer Product Safety Act gives manufacturers too much control over recalls. It’s a problem Congress didn’t fix when it otherwise strengthened the agency after the 2007 ‘Year of the Recall.’ Congress should fix it now.”

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