NEW YORK, United States — Peloton has recalled all of its treadmills in the US and UK following investigations by a US watchdog.
The at-home fitness brand had originally defended its products after federal safety regulators pushed for action last month following the death of a child. However, the company has now said it will offer full refunds for its Peloton Tread+ treadmills, and stop selling them.
“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+,” Peloton Founder John Foley said in a statement.
“We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologise.”
Following the company’s announcement on Wednesday, its shares fell 14.6 percent to close at $82.62 — its second-biggest one-day percentage decline since the stock started trading in 2019.
Speaking about the decision, CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler said: “The agreement between CPSC and Peloton is the result of weeks of intense negotiation and effort.”
Adding: “ I am confident that Peloton will be making additional improvements in the coming weeks and months to ensure the safety of their users.”
However, some commentators including Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut who is chair of the consumer safety committee, said in a statement that the recall was dangerously delayed. “Peloton unacceptably put consumers at risk,” Blumenthal said, adding that he would work to strengthen the safety commission so that “companies like Peloton no longer get to call the shots on consumer safety.”
Safety concerns first surfaced in mid-April, when the CPSC cited 72 reports of injuries and at least one death for which it alleged the Tread+ was responsible. In a statement, it highlighted reports of children being “entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product.”
It suggested the product’s “unusual belt design that uses individual rigid rubberized slats or treads that are interlocked and ride on a rail,” as well as a larger gap between the actual treadmill and the floor, could have contributed to how children were being pulled under it. And advised those with children at home to stop using the product.
At the time, Peloton called the warning “inaccurate and misleading,” arguing that there was no reason for consumers to stop using the machine if safety instructions were followed.
According to the company, Foley sent an urgent reminder directly to Tread+ Members to follow the critical warnings and safety instructions that accompany the Tread+, which state that children, pets, and objects should be kept clear of the Tread+ at all times. Members were also reminded to remove the Safety Key and store it out of the reach of children when an adult is not using the Tread+.
In a statement, the company also said it would remain open to working with the CPSC to further ensure that its members are “safe and have the opportunity to live healthier and fuller lives through the use of Peloton products”.
Having now changed its stance, Peloton customers who own a Tread+ treadmill have until November 6th, 2022, to get a full refund from Peloton. The safety commission still recommends that people stop using the treadmill, but for those that want to keep it, Peloton said it will move it free of charge to a room where children or pets cannot access it and update the software so a passcode is required to unlock it.