In its announcement, the CPSC reiterated that customers should immediately stop using the Tread+, which was recently involved in an accident where a 6-year-old child died after being pulled under the treadmill. The regulatory agency also noted that Peloton had received 72 reports of adult users, pets, and objects being pulled under the $US4,295 ($5,580) machine. Of that number, 29 reports detailed injuries to children, including abrasions, lacerations, and broken bones.
But it’s not just the Tread+. The CPSC also recommends owners of Peloton’s newer, more affordable Tread also immediately stop using the machine, as it could result in injury. This is because Peloton has received 18 reports of the Tread’s touchscreen coming loose, and six reports of the display actually detaching and falling. So far, these reports have come from Canada and the UK, with none being reported in the U.S itself (likely because the Tread is not officially on sale stateside — it was due to launch May 27).
“I am pleased that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Peloton have come to an agreement to protect users of the Peloton Tread+ and Tread products. The agreement, which the Commission voted this morning to accept, requires Peloton to immediately stop selling and distributing both the Tread+ and Tread products in the United States and refund the full purchase price to consumers who wish to return their treadmills,” said Robert S. Adler, acting CPSC chairman, said in a press release.
This is a major reversal of Peloton’s initial stance. When the CPSC first issued a warning against the Tread+ in April, the digital fitness company pushed back against the regulatory agency and put the blame squarely on improper customer use. The CPSC, however, was firmly adamant that the dangers posed by the Tread+ were unique to its design, which is unlike other treadmills. The Tread+ has a slatted belt sits higher off the floor with no guardrail underneath — a combination that could lead to a fallen user being pulled under the 206 kg device. Peloton’s handling of the issue was not graceful, to say the least — which CEO John Foley apologised for in a statement.
“The decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton’s members and their families,” Foley said. “I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologise.”
Tread+ owners can receive a full refund until Nov. 22, 2022. After that, you’ll only be able to get a partial refund. For those who want to hang on to the Tread+, Peloton is offering to move the machine to a room with no children or pets for free. It’s also pushing software updates that will automatically lock the Tread+ after use and require a 4-digit passcode to unlock. Tread owners can also get a full refund, or a free inspection and repair for the touchscreen if necessary.
Unsurprisingly, Peloton stock plummeted following the announcements — but even after recalling 125,000 Tread+ and 1,050 Treads, it’s not clear whether this will truly dent Peloton’s success. Peloton has a diehard fanbase, and a recent Insider report found that even users who suffered injuries on the Tread+ and crappy customer service refused to give up their memberships. One question is how the recall will impact Peloton’s live and on-demand treadmill classes now that the company has agreed to stop selling the device in the U.S. Gizmodo reached out to Peloton regarding the future of its treadmill content, but didn’t immediately receive a response.
Editor’s Note: Peloton products are not currently available in Australia but are coming soon.