Peloton recalls treadmills after child's death

Published
image copyrightGetty Images

Peloton has recalled treadmills in the US and UK over a series of safety issues following investigations by a US watchdog.

In the US, 125,000 Tread and Tread+ machines are being recalled after the death of a six-year-old child.

The watchdog said they could cause injury or death to adults, children and pets if they get pulled underneath.

Tread machines sold in the UK are also being recalled because display consoles could fall off.

In addition to the death, Peloton had 72 reports of injuries such as broken bones, cuts and grazes.

Peloton boss John Foley said the firm had "made a mistake" in not recalling the machines sooner.

In March, Peloton warned parents to keep children away from its Tread+ machine after the death of the six-year-old, who was pulled underneath the rear of the treadmill.

At the time Mr Foley called it a "tragic accident" - one of a "small handful" of incidents in which children have been hurt on the firm's exercise equipment.

"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+," Mr Foley said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologise."

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said that Peloton had voluntarily recalled the Tread+ and Peloton Tread, which posed a safety risk because the display console can fall off.

An agreement between the watchdog and Peloton means the firm must stop selling the machines in the US and give a full refund to people who want to return them.

UK sales

Because of the type motor used in the Tread+, the machine needs a higher ground clearance than typical treadmills.

Robert Adler, Acting Chairman of the CPSC, said: "The agreement between CPSC and Peloton is 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.

"I would like to thank the CPSC technical staff who have worked tirelessly to protect consumers and to warn the public. Today we have taken steps to prevent further harm from these two products."

The company has yet to respond to a BBC request for clarity over how the recall might affect sales outside the US.

However, the PA news agency said a Peloton spokesman confirmed that the recall also related to the Tread in the UK.

In the US, the Tread was only sold as part of a limited invitation-only release from about November, 2020 to about March, 2021 and the company's statement said it "is currently working on a repair to be offered to Tread owners in the coming weeks".

But the statement does not mention Tread repairs outside the US.

image copyrightGetty Images

The touchscreen on the Tread can detach and fall, according to the CPSC. There have been reports of minor injuries such as abrasions, cuts and bruises in the UK and Canada.

However, the Tread+ carries a more serious hazard because "adult users, children, pets and objects can be pulled underneath the rear of the treadmill, posing a risk of injury or death".

Peloton rose to prominence during the pandemic as a premium option for allowing people to exercise from home with live video from trainers, as gyms were forced to close. Shares in the New York-based company tumbled more than 14% after the recall announcement.

In addition to the death, there have been about 72 reports of adult users, children, pets and objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children such as second and third-degree abrasions, broken bones and lacerations.

More on this story