Peloton Admits It’s in Hot Water With DOJ, DHS, and SEC Over Its Treadmill Mess

Peloton Admits It’s in Hot Water With DOJ, DHS, and SEC Over Its Treadmill Mess
Photo: Ethan Miller / Staff, Getty Images

Peloton has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, the fitness equipment maker confirmed on Friday, reportedly over its apparent failure to make information related to injuries customers had sustained on the company’s treadmills readily available. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating the matter.

In accordance with the subpoena, Peloton will be required to submit documents and other information to the DOJ and DHS that pertains to injuries reportedly suffered by users of the company’s Tread and Tread+, which were both recalled in May after a child was killed in an accident involving the equipment and dozens of other users reported that they had suffered injuries.

Despite concerned rumblings that grew increasingly louder in the spring as users reported that objects and at least one pet had been sucked under the machine while activated, Peloton was initially hesitant to publicly acknowledge the apparent dangers. Eventually, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a government watchdog agency, intervened, publishing an “urgent warning” that the products posed “serious risks” to both children and small pets.

“CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death,” the agency wrote in its warning. “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.”

Despite initially lambasting the CPSC’s request for a product safety recall — alleging that the group’s report had been “inaccurate and misleading” and that the injuries and fatality had been the result of product misuse, and not a design flaw — Peloton did eventually recall 125,000 of its treadmill units about a month later.

On Friday, Peloton said that the Securities and Exchange Commission was also “investigating our public disclosures concerning these matters,” according to CNBC, adding that “[a]t this time, we are unable to predict the eventual scope, duration or outcome of the investigations.”

A Peloton spokesperson declined Gizmodo’s request for additional comment, citing the fact that the litigation is ongoing.

News of the increased government scrutiny comes just one day after Peloton announced that it would be yet again slashing prices on its Bike by about $US400 ($552), from $US1,895 ($2,615) to $US1,495 ($2,063), for customers in the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia. The same day, Peloton posted a loss for its most recent quarter, at least a portion of which stemmed from its treadmill recall.