In May 2021, Peloton and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled the troubled Peloton Tread Plus after several reports of injuries and the death of a child. As part of the recall, Tread Plus owners were given until November 6th, 2022, to get a full refund. Now, Peloton and the CPSC say they’re extending the refund period for another year.
“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Tread Plus treadmills,” the CPSC said in a statement. It also noted that, to date, Peloton has received 335 incident reports, with the number of reported injuries increasing from 72 to 87 since the recall was first issued. According to the CPSC, roughly 125,000 Tread Plus units were recalled in total.
Tread Plus owners will now have until November 6th, 2023, to either get a full refund or, for people who prefer to keep the treadmill, have it moved to a different room for free. That’s useful since the treadmill weighs a whopping 455 pounds. Any Tread Plus machines returned after the extended period will receive a partial refund.
Peloton is working on a rear guard to address the Tread Plus’ safety issues
The agency went on to confirm that Peloton is working on a rear guard to address the Tread Plus’ safety issues but that “no repair has been approved to date.” Unlike other treadmills, the Tread Plus was distinct for its slatted belt and raised deck. While the design was intended to increase traction and reduce impact on the knees, it also made it easier for adults, children, and pets to get pulled under the rear roller. A few months ago, CEO Barry McCarthy purportedly responded to a customer email noting that he was hopeful that the company would relaunch the tread but that the government “control[s] the timing.” So far, all Peloton has been able to do is issue an over-the-air update introducing Tread Lock, a four-number passcode to prevent unauthorized use.
It’s unclear whether a relaunch is truly in the cards. In its Q3 earnings, Peloton reported higher than anticipated losses to the tune of $18 million from Tread Plus refunds. At this point, the Tread Plus has been discontinued for well over a year and has been effectively replaced in Peloton’s product lineup by the Peloton Tread. Once marketed as an “affordable” alternative, the Tread’s price recently increased to $3,495 to boost its image as a premium product. For context, the Tread’s original price was $2,495 while the Tread Plus retailed for $4,295.
Needless to say, Peloton’s financial fortunes have plummeted over the last year and a half. Earlier this month, Peloton cut another 500 jobs in a fourth round of layoffs, with McCarthy stating the company had six months to prove it could survive on its own, according to The Wall Street Journal. McCarthy later disputed the remarks in a company email as being taken out of context. Regardless, Peloton reported a $1.2 billion operating loss this most recent quarter.