Peloton recalls treadmills after injury and death of child

The Fitness Technology Group Platoon recalled its treadmills after reporting injuries and one death involving the machines, which caused the company’s shares to drop to a seven-month low.

The move comes more than two weeks after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urged people with young children or pets to stop using Peloton treadmills, following a death investigation of a child. There have been 72 reports of adults, children, pets or objects being pulled under the back of the Tread + treadmill, the agency said.

Peloton had already rebuffed the CPSC’s initial warning, calling it “inaccurate and misleading” and saying that anyone over 16 could continue to use the Tread +.

Peloton CEO John Foley apologized Wednesday, saying the company had “erred in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request to recall the Tread +.”

Foley added, “We should have engaged more productively with them from the start. For that, I apologize. ”

Under an agreement with regulators, Peloton is voluntarily recalling its Tread + and Tread treadmills and will offer a full refund to customers who wish to return their machines. The Tread + sells for around $ 4,300.

Owners were urged to immediately stop using the treadmills, and Peloton was working on additional hardware modifications, the CPSC said.

The CPSC deal was “the result of weeks of negotiations and intense effort, culminating in a cooperative deal that, in my opinion, serves the best interests of Peloton and consumers,” said Robert Adler, interim president of the CPSC. commission.

Foley said the company is “committed to working with the CPSC to set new industry safety standards for treadmills. We have the desire and the responsibility to be an industry leader in product safety. “

Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator from Connecticut, applauded the recall but called it “dangerously delayed,” accusing Peloton of obstructing the CPSC’s investigation.

Peloton, best known for its high-end stationary bikes that connect to live lessons, launched its treadmill in 2018. It announced last year that it was launching a cheaper version of its treadmill, the Tread, with a retail price of around $ 2,500.

Peloton shares fell 10 percent to $ 87.08, to levels last seen in September.

On the 32,000-member Peloton Tread Facebook group, users reacted with dismay to the recall and expressed support for the company. Several emphasized the voluntary nature of the recall. “Taking my step? You and what army? wrote one.

When one person asked the group, “How many of you will return it?” Few of you responded that you would. Typical responses included “No”, “Not me !!” and “NEVERRRRRR !!!!!!!!”.

According to Peloton customer service, all open Tread orders that have not been delivered “are in the process of being canceled and refunded.” The company is also working on a software update that would automatically lock the treadmill after each use.

When Peloton releases its quarterly results on Thursday, revenue is expected to reach $ 1.1 billion, a new record, according to Refinitiv. The group has struggled to keep up with orders over the past year as millions of people have reinvented their home fitness routines with gyms largely closed.

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