Peloton Recalls US Treadmills Over Safety Concerns After Child Dies

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Fitness company Peloton is recalling its two popular treadmills in the United States for safety reasons after the death of a child and dozens of other injuries. Peloton apologized for fending off federal safety officials who warned the public last month of the dangers of their use.

The recall is a major reversal for a company that has insisted on the safety of its Tread and Tread + treadmills, despite user reports.

“I want to be clear, Peloton erred in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request to recall Tread +,” Peloton chief executive John Foley said in a released statement. Wednesday. “We should have engaged more productively with them from the start. For that, I apologize. ”

Foley said the company would work with the CPSC to “set new industry safety standards for treadmills.”

Peloton shares fell 14% on news of the voluntary recall, CNBC said. Peloton said production on its Tread + line has been halted and sales have ceased while a hardware modification to keep it safe was in the works.

The original Tread treadmills, the company said, were only sold by invitation between November 2020 and March 2021, and repairs would be offered to owners in the coming weeks. Consumers could also return the treadmills for a full refund, Peloton said.

The CPSC issued its warning in April after receiving several reports of children and an animal being pulled and pinned under the rear rollers of the Tread + treadmill.

The most serious incident involved the death of a child, but there were at least 40 other incidents that resulted in fractures or scrapes, prompting the agency to advise the public not to use the equipment. A disturbing video accompanying the warning showed a child trapped under a treadmill while still running.

At the time, Peloton backed down, calling the instructions “inaccurate and misleading,” and issuing a statement saying the company “knows the Tread + is safe for the home when used in accordance with warnings and guidelines. of security”.

“The CPSC was unwilling to engage in meaningful discussions with Peloton before issuing its inaccurate and misleading press release,” he said.

The Tread + is only sold in the US, but the company is also recalling the Tread in the UK, after CPSC said its touchscreen could come off and fall off.

Peloton’s US press office clarified the recall in a subsequent statement to the Guardian. “Peloton is taking corrective action in the US, UK and Canada, including repairing the tread and offering a refund to consumers who don’t want to wait for a repair,” he said.

“The repair will not be available to US consumers until the CPSC approves the repair proposed by Peloton.”

The information on the company’s UK website referred to “reports of minor injuries such as abrasions, minor cuts and bruises in Canada and the UK” involving Tread treadmills, and were linked to the same information reminder published on its North American site.

Wednesday’s raid follows weeks of backlash to his original stance and negotiations between security regulators and Peloton leaders leading up to the recall deal.

“The agreement between the CPSC and Peloton is the result of weeks of intense negotiations and effort, culminating in a cooperative agreement which I believe serves the best interests of Peloton and of consumers,” said the president by interim of the company, Robert Adler.

According to CPSC figures, approximately 22,500 treadmill-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in the United States in 2019, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Children under eight made up 2,000 of them.

Corporate communications expert Ronn Torossian, meanwhile, criticized Peloton’s response to the crisis.

“Peloton’s lack of immediacy was their mistake. The death of a child should have been enough for the recall, but the delay seems like they value the benefits more than the lives of their customers, ”said Torossian, founder and CEO of 5WPR in New York and brand consultant. and in communication for a number of blue chips. companies.

“Building a brand to match the fame that Peloton has achieved is no easy task, and at this level of the game they can’t afford to inflict an ounce of doubt on the public.

“It will be interesting to see how their recovery plan unfolds. They aren’t the only company making home treadmills and spin bikes. “

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