Peloton Recalling Treadmills Over Safety Concerns

Peloton at CES

Key Takeaways

  • Peloton announced voluntary recalls of its treadmills after several reports of injuries and a child’s death.
  • The announcement is a reversal of the company’s initial reaction, which it called a mistake.
  • The recall affects about 126,000 treadmills in the United States, the UK, and Canada.

 Peloton announced voluntary recalls of its two treadmills, Tread and Tread+, which represents about 126,000 machines.

The move comes after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) noted in early April that consumers should stop using the Tread+ if small children or pets are nearby. In March, the company disclosed they had learned about a 6-year-old child’s death related to an accident involving a Tread+.

In a letter posted to the company’s website at the time of that incident, CEO John Foley suggested that treadmill users should put additional safety strategies in place, such as keeping children and pets away from the machine at all times. He did not, however, issue a safety recall at that time, or when the CPSC issued its advisory a month later and wrote in another letter that “[W]e have no intention of doing so.”

In a recent statement, Foley expressed regret for that approach, saying, “I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”

The CPSC noted that it had received 72 reports of adults, children, and pets being pulled under the Tread+. The commission released a video of a child getting stuck under the device as it was running, to demonstrate how easily it can happen. In that case, the child was able to get out without injury.

Why Tread+ Is Different

Unlike most treadmills that use a continuous belt, the Tread+ has rubberized slats that move on a ball-bearing system. That design, as well as the amount of clearance under the machine, has increased the risk that people and pets can get pulled beneath it.

Another significant concern is that the touchscreen on the Tread model—which was only sold between November 2020 and March 2021 in a limited release, and only represents about 1,000 machines—can potentially become detached and fall. The commission reported there have been 18 incidents of that happening.

For those who have a Peloton treadmill, the company suggests immediately discontinuing its use and contacting Peloton for a full refund. It is currently working on a repair that will be offered to treadmill owners within a few weeks. For example, it’s expected that a new software update will automatically lock the Tread+ after use and require a passcode to unlock it.

The company has posted answers to frequently asked recall questions on its website.

By Elizabeth Millard
Elizabeth Millard is a freelance journalist specializing in health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition.