The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Saturday issued a warning about Peloton Tread Plus treadmills, saying the machines pose “serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death.” In a March blog post by CEO John Foley, the company said it was aware that a child had died in an accident on the treadmill.
The agency says it is aware of 39 incidents with the Tread Plus, including one 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,” the CPSC bulletin states.
The CPSC posted a video showing what could happen in a Tread Plus accident involving a child. It shows an unattended child being pulled under the treadmill and nearly crushed before he is able to escape (we’re linking to but not embedding the video because it’s disturbing to watch).
The agency issued a list of recommendations for users of the Tread Plus:
Stop using the Peloton Tread Plus if there are small children or pets at home. Incidents suggest that children may be seriously injured while the Tread Plus is being used by an adult, not just when a child has unsupervised access to the machine.
If consumers must continue to use the product, CPSC urges consumers to use the product only in a locked room, to prevent access to children and pets while the treadmill is in use. Keep all objects, including exercise balls and other equipment, away from the treadmill.
When not in use, unplug the Tread Plus and store the safety key away from the device and out of reach of children.
Separate from the incident where the child died, the CPSC received a report In February that a three-year-old boy suffered a ”significant brain injury” in an incident with a Tread Plus treadmill. According to that report, the child had tread marks on his back matching the slats of the treadmill, as well as neck and other injuries. Peloton commented on the report at the time, saying the child from that incident “is expected to fully recover.”
Peloton said in a statement Saturday that it refuted what it called a “misleading, inaccurate bulletin” by the CPSC. According to Peloton, the company had sought to make a joint announcement with the CPSC about “the danger of not following the warnings and safety instructions provided” with the Tread Plus. The agency has, according to the company “unfairly characterized Peloton’s efforts to collaborate and to correct inaccuracies in CPSC’s press release as an attempt to delay. This could not be farther from the truth.”
The company told the Washington Post that it did not believe a recall of the Tread Plus was necessary.