Sales of Peloton equipment, including both stationary bikes and treadmills, have taken off during the pandemic. According to the Associated Press, New York-based Peloton Interactive, Inc., brought in $1 billion in revenue during the final three months of 2020 – more than double its revenue from the same period in 2019. Peloton sells two types of treadmills: the Tread and the Tread+. The basic version of the Tread+ costs $4,300.
While using home workout equipment may be safer than going to the gym during a pandemic, but there are probably safer treadmill options, from a product safety standpoint, than the the Tread+.. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been 39 incidents of objects, including children and at least one pet, being pulled under the treadmill when it was running. In at least one incident, a child was pulled under while a parent was actively running on the treadmill.
Specifically, a small child or pet could be pulled under the rear roller of the Tread+ and pinned there. The majority of the incidents involving children involved injuries, such as fractures and scrapes. According to Consumer Reports, adults have also been injured. One child has died because of entrapment.
As a result, the CPSC has issued an urgent safety warning to Tread+ owners to immediately stop using the machine. However, if adults wish to continue using it, the agency recommends using it only in a locked room where children and pets cannot get to it. When the treadmill is not in use, owners should also unplug it and take out the safety key.
Additionally, owners should endeavor to keep objects like exercise balls away from the treadmill, as they can also be pulled under the roller.
Peloton pushes back against the warning
After the CPSC’s warning, Peloton issued a news release calling the warning “inaccurate and misleading.” The company claimed that owners can continue to use the treadmill if children and pets are kept away and as long as the safety key is removed when the machine is not in use.
Again, however, there has been at least one incident when a child was pulled under the Tread+ while a parent was present and using the machine. That indicates that the product may not be safe even when a parent is available to supervise.
The CPSC notes that no other brand of treadmill has been associated with this type of issue.
Consumer Reports pulls its recommendation for the Tread+
Because of the CPSC’s warning, Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendation for the Tread+. The consumer-focused nonprofit rates treadmills on five variables: ease of use, quality of construction, ergonomics, suitability for a variety of fitness levels and user safety.
“We are taking the rare and unusual step of removing the Peloton Tread+ from our ratings based on the incident data described by the CPSC, given the severity and the nature of the injuries and that the agency has not seen these types of injuries with other treadmills,” said a spokesperson for Consumer Reports.
“Given that the incidents involved not only children but adults we believe that there is a safety risk, and we’re removing our rating and recommendation while we investigate further, monitor the company’s ongoing response, and await more information from the CPSC,” she added.
Injured people should seek legal help
If you or a loved one has been injured using the Peloton Tread+ or any exercise device, know that the manufacturer, the distributers and even the retailer can potentially be held legally responsible if the product is defective or unreasonably dangerous. Talk to an attorney who handles product liability law for information and advice about your specific situation.