Peleton fighting CPSC request to recall treadmill

WASHINGTON — Peleton is fighting the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request to recall one of the exercise company’s treadmills after one child died and several were injured, The Washington Post reported.

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The CPSC this week issued an administrative subpoena to require Peloton to disclose the name of the child who died and the family’s contact information, the newspaper reported. That way, regulators could continue an inquiry into what went wrong.

“To date, CPSC is aware of 39 incidents including one death,” the federal agency said in a news release that linked to a video on Saturday. “CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death. In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately. This video demonstrates the hazard to children posed by the Tread+.”

The two sides also fighting over whether the Tread+ should be taken off the market, the Post reported. The company and regulators have been negotiating over the wording and timing of an agency warning to alert consumers to potential dangers posed by the Peloton Tread+, a $4,300 exercise machine.

“It is believed that at least one incident occurred while a parent was running on the treadmill, suggesting that the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use,” the CPSC said in its news release. “Reports of a pet and objects being sucked beneath the Tread+ also suggest possible harm to the user if the user loses balance as a result.

Peloton called the agency’s advisory “inaccurate and misleading,” The Wall Street Journal reported. The company added that its treadmills are safe when users follow safety recommendations, which include keeping children and pets away from the machine. The company added that the machine’s safety key should be removed when it is not in use to prevent its belt from moving, the newspaper reported.

Peloton said it requested a joint statement with the CPSC to emphasize the need for users to follow safety instructions, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Peloton is disappointed that, despite its offers of collaboration, and despite the fact that the Tread+ complies with all applicable safety standards, CPSC was unwilling to engage in any meaningful discussions with Peloton before issuing its inaccurate and misleading press release,” the company said in a statement.

A Peloton spokesperson Jessica Kleiman said in a statement to the Post that the company “does not believe a recall is necessary” and that the treadmill “is safe for use when the warnings and safety instructions we provide are followed.” Peloton also has issued repeated safety warnings to its customers since it learned of the incidents last month.

“Peloton is still seeking to jointly work with CPSC to urge [its customers] to follow all warnings and safety instructions,” Kleiman said in the statement.

Peleton said it did not give the CPSC personal information about the deceased child because the child’s family “asked us not to provide the information to the CPSC,” the Post reported.

Peloton asked for a subpoena and the CPSC issued it this week, the newspaper reported. The CPSC asked for the information within 24 hours, and Peleton complied, according to the Post.

The CPSC did not specify how or if Peloton’s treadmills are more dangerous than other models, The Wall Street Journal reported. The CPSC said it is investigating whether other types of treadmills pose the same risk.

There were 22,500 emergency-room visits tied to treadmills in 2019, according to the CPSC. There were 17 deaths related to treadmills between 2018 and 2019, The Wall Street Journal reported.