The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to spend most of their time indoors for more than a year now. That has, in turn, given birth to new products and services designed to be used inside the house, from new entertainment options to fitness equipment. Peloton has been riding the wave of that renewed interest in indoor exercise equipment but its latest connected treadmill, the Tread+, has been written off from the US CPSC’s book for dozens of accidents, including one child’s death last month.
It probably shocked the fitness world how the $4,295 device, not including the subscription fee, caused the death of a child but that was just the tip of the iceberg. A report in February revealed that a three-year-old child was found trapped underneath the Peloton Tread+ sustained significant brain injury but was expected to fully recover, at least according to the company. All in all, however, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission says it is aware of 39 incidents, including that death.
The CPSC wants the Tread+ to be recalled but, unsurprisingly, Peloton is trying to fight it off. Over the weekend, the recalls agency published a warning to inform owners of the treadmill about the safety hazards of the device. It is urging them to stop using the Tread+ if there are small children or pets at home. It also warns about the possibility of some smaller objects getting sucked beneath the Tread+ which could cause injury to users themselves.
Peloton unsurprisingly blasted what it called a unilateral press release and decried how it was inaccurate and misleading. In a nutshell, the company says that the Tread+ can pose a hazard just like any other motorized exercise equipment if you don’t follow instructions and warnings. Those, according to the company, already tell owners not to let children, pets, or objects near the machine.
Peloton last year recalled first-gen Bike pedals after reports of users sustaining injuries after the pedals’ clips broke during use. Given how much the Tread+ costs, however, the fallout from its recall could mean huge losses for the company, which is why it is reportedly fighting hard against such a recall despite injuries and even death.