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What just happened? Fitness giant Peloton has announced a voluntary recall of two treadmills in the US and UK over safety concerns after a six-year-old child died and dozens of people were injured. The company had insisted its Tread and Tread+ machines were safe, despite calls from users, but is now recalling over 125,000 machines.
The move follows weeks of discussions with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), whose concerns Peloton had called “inaccurate and misleading.”
“I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+,” Peloton’s chief executive, John Foley, said in a statement. “We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”
Peloton is asking customers to stop using the treadmills, which are no longer for sale in the US. Repairs will be offered over the coming weeks. Alternatively, owners can contact the company for a full refund.
Peloton advised parents to keep children away from its Tread+ machine after a six-year-old who was pulled and pinned underneath the rear rollers died. The equipment requires a higher ground clearance than other treadmills due to the type of motor it uses. There have been 72 reports of adults, children, and pets being dragged under the treadmills, resulting in fractures, third-degree abrasions, lacerations, and scrapes.
Peloton's share price has taken a tumble
The CPSC released a disturbing video showing a child getting trapped beneath one of the treadmills while it was operating. Peloton responded at the time by saying it “knows that the Tread+ is safe for the home when used in accordance with warnings and safety instructions.”
“CPSC was unwilling to engage in any meaningful discussions with Peloton before issuing its inaccurate and misleading press release,” it added.
The Tread is also being recalled in the UK—the Tread+ is only sold in the US—because the touchscreen console can detach and fall off.
Peloton is also dealing with reports that a bug in its API allowed anyone to access user data, though the vulnerability has now been fixed. The company’s shares were down almost 15% yesterday, wiping around $4.1 billion off its market value.