April 27, 2021 – Peloton pushes back a warning from the U.S. government regarding the safety of its expensive home treadmill.
Experts wonder if this is a case of dangerous design flaws – or the need for individual users to be held to account.
It is being followed closely as artificial intelligence-assisted home fitness devices become more popular – and gyms reopen as pandemic restrictions lift.
Peloton is the undisputed star of the “connected fitness” movement. The company is best known for its high-tech exercise bike, which connects riders with classes and users around the world while developing a cult dedication.
The company’s shares fell more than 7% after the “urgent warning” from the government, which advised owners of the company’s Tread + treadmill to stop using it.
At least one child has been killed and others injured under the machines, as have some pets, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The commission considers the product “a serious risk to children of abrasions, fractures and death,” she said in a statement.
The agency released a video of a child trapped briefly under one of the machines.
The agency is aware of 39 such incidents, it said in its April 17 warning. “In light of several reports of children being trapped, pinned and pulled under the rear roller of the product, the CPSC urges consumers with children at home to immediately stop using the product.”
At least one incident occurred while a parent was running on the treadmill, the agency said. “Reports of a pet and objects being sucked under the Tread + also suggest that the user could be injured if the user loses balance as a result.”
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In a statement, Peloton said he was “troubled” by the commission’s warning because it was “inaccurate and misleading”. Owners have no reason to stop using the Tread + “as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed. Children under the age of 16 should never use Tread + and members should keep children, pets and objects away from Tread + at all times. “
Peloton courses now include “additional safety messages”. They remind users to remove the security key and store it in a child-safe place, the company said.
Specifically, Peloton took issue with the video released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which showed a child under a treadmill. The company said that if the security key had been used correctly, it could have avoided the “kind of incident described in this video.”
“The Tread + includes safety warnings and instructions in several places, including in the owner’s manual, in a safety card left on top of the Tread + tray upon delivery, and on the product itself.” , said Peloton.
Design issues, reminder of the dead end
The commission wants Peloton to recall the device, which costs around $ 4,300. (Peloton’s new $ 2,500 model does not appear to be involved in the dispute.)
The company refused to do so.
CEO John Foley wrote and thanked users for their own “helpful tips” like training while the kids are napping, having a babysitter during workouts, or using gates to keep children and pets away. domestic workers.
The problem is the height and belt of the treadmill. The agency is examining possible danger issues.
Prior to this controversy, the Peloton Tread + (formerly known as Peloton Tread) was the top rated treadmill by Consumer Reports. The nonprofit watchdog gave its highest score for user safety, noting the stop button, how quickly the belt stops when the safety key is pulled, and more.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is limited by laws that make it difficult to act without a company’s permission, said William Wallace, head of safety policy for Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports says the commission cannot order a recall without going to court.
Previously, in a separate case, Peloton had issued a voluntary recall of first-generation pedals on its exercise bikes purchased between 2013 and 2016, in cooperation with the commission. The pedals presented a risk of failure that caused damage to approximately 100 Peloton owners who could then request replacement parts from the company.
Safety tips on the treadmill
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 22,500 treadmill injuries in 2019, including around 2,000 involving children under the age of 8. Between 2018 and 2020, 17 treadmill-related deaths were reported, according to Consumer Reports. He recommends the following for safety reasons.
- Keep children away.
- Turn it off when not in use.
- Use the safety key to stop the treadmill if you fall.
- Do not stand on the treadmill when you turn it on.
- Let it stop before going down.
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