Peloton is recalling around 125,000 treadmills, less than a month after denying that they were unsafe and refusing to remove them from the market, despite the fact that they were connected to the death of a child and the injury of 29 others.
The Peloton Tread+ treadmills, which cost more than $4,200, will now be eligible for full refunds, according to the brand. It will also no longer market them.
The recall follows a warning from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on April 17 that people with children and pets should stop using the Tread+ treadmill immediately after a child was pulled under one and died.
Peloton fought the safety commission at the time, claiming that the notice was “inaccurate and deceptive” and that there was no need to avoid using the devices. John Foley, the company’s CEO, also said that he had “no intention” of recalling the treadmills.
Foley apologized and said the organization “made a mistake” in its initial response to the safety commission in a statement released Wednesday.
Peloton Interactive Inc., headquartered in New York, saw its shares drop 14.6 percent to $82.62 on Wednesday, the stock’s second-largest one-day percentage drop since it began trading in 2019.
The recall was dangerously overdue, according to Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut who chairs the consumer protection committee.
“Peloton placed consumers at risk in an unacceptably dangerous way,” Blumenthal said, adding that he will try to improve the commission so that “companies like Peloton no longer get to call the shots on consumer safety.”
To release warnings regarding a product’s risks, the Consumer Product Safety Commission must negotiate with businesses under current laws.
Peloton is best known for its stationary bikes, but it recently launched treadmills. During the pandemic, sales of its appliances have increased as virus-averse people avoided gyms and worked out at home. The company made $1 billion in sales in the last three months of 2020, more than double its previous year’s total.
In total, Peloton received 72 reports of adults, children, pets, and other objects, such as exercise balls, being pulled under the treadmill’s back. 29 of the cases included children who had sustained injuries such as broken bones and cuts. One kid, a six-year-old boy, died.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is still evaluating the treadmills, according to Joseph Martyak, but it appears that the Peloton Tread+’s nature, including its belt and height off the floor, can make it more likely to pull people, pets, and objects under the machine than other brands of treadmills.
Tread+ treadmill owners have until November 6, 2022 to request a complete refund from Peloton. The safety commission also advises people to avoid using the treadmill, but those who want to keep it can have it moved free of charge to a room where children and pets cannot access it, and the program updated to include a passcode to unlock it.