Embed from Getty Images
In mid-March, a child died after being pulled under a Peloton treadmill, the Tread+. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been at least 39 known incidents with children or pets being injured by the treadmill. The CPSA has posted a disturbing video of a child being trapped under a Tread+ while trying to get a ball. (I’m not going to post it, but you can see it here. The child is reportedly ok.) The CPSC has issued a warning that people should stop using the Peloton Tread+ due to these incidents. However the CEO, John Foley, issued a really defensive statement about it and said they’re not going to recall the treadmills. They also have no warning about them on their website. There’s more about that below and here’s part of Yahoo’s writeup on this.
Peloton founder and CEO John Foley is on the defensive as he tries to stem the fallout from a shocking new video released over the weekend by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) showing a young child getting sucked under a Peloton treadmill while playing with a ball.
Foley —a father of two young children with wife Jill (who is also Peloton’s VP of apparel) — blasted the CPSC in a message to Peloton members on Sunday afternoon, saying the company was not trying to impede an investigation into the $4,000 Tread+ product.
“After we learned about the child’s death, we immediately reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Since then we have fully cooperated with CPSC and responded to all of their requests, with one exception: we resisted their demands for personally identifiable information of certain Members because those Members had specifically requested that we not provide that information to CPSC. At no time was Peloton trying to impede CPSC’s investigation. We were simply standing behind our Members’ right to maintain their privacy, and we remain committed to providing this type of information only with a Member’s consent or pursuant to a subpoena. Government agencies shouldn’t have unfettered access to consumers’ private information, and I am proud that we took a stand to protect these Members’ privacy,” Foley said.
Continued Foley, “I imagine some Members asked for their information to be protected in order to avoid personal attacks like some that we’ve seen in response to the Tread+ incidents that CPSC publicized yesterday. Our hearts go out to Members who have had an incident where a child or pet was injured and who want their privacy at this time. As a parent myself, I hope that our Peloton community continues to treat each other with respect and compassion.”
The CPSC’s investigation kicked off in mid-March after Foley said a child had died after an undisclosed incident with the treadmill.
About a month later, the CPSC returned with a warning on Saturday that Tread+ owners should stop using the equipment if children or pets are around. The U.S. agency said it was aware of 39 incidents with the Tread+, including the aforementioned death of a child.
“CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death. CPSC is warning consumers about the danger of popular Peloton Tread+ exercise machine after multiple incidents of small children and a pet being injured beneath the machines,” the CPSC said in a series of tweets. The young child from the video shared by the CPSC made it out from under the treadmill.
Peloton called the CPSC’s comments “inaccurate” and “misleading” in a Saturday statement.
Foley stopped short of using that rhetoric in his Sunday message to subscribers, but said there are no plans to refrain from selling the Tread+.
“You may also have read news reports suggesting that CPSC believes that we should stop selling or recall the Tread+. I want to assure you that we have no intention of doing so. The Tread+ is safe when our warnings and safety instructions are followed, and we know that, every day, thousands of Members enjoy working out safely on their Tread+. But I urge you to stay vigilant. Remember, the Tread+ is not for children under 16, and children, pets, and objects need to be kept away from the Tread+ at all times. When the Tread+ is not in use, store the Safety Key away from the Tread+ and out of reach of children. Our Tread instructors remind us at the beginning and end of each class to keep these safety instructions top of mind. In addition, many of you have chimed in on social media in recent weeks to share helpful tips, such as working out during nap time, having someone watch the kids while you work out, or using a baby gate to keep children, pets, and objects away. Thank you for sharing those suggestions with our community,” Foley said.
The Tread+ is still available on the Peloton website, it starts at $4,295 (holy sh-t), and there is absolutely no warning that it should not be used around children or pets due to the danger of being pulled underneath! If there’s a warning, it must be in small print somewhere because I looked through several sales pages and could not find one. It’s not in the FAQ either. How is this company that charges over 4k for a piece of equipment still selling it without a disclaimer after a child died under one over a month ago?! It’s outrageous, and the CEO should be ashamed and apologetic, not defensive and rude like this. I understand wanting to protect customer’s privacy, but this is absolutely tone deaf and awful.
What’s more is that I’m a Peloton subscriber (I do not own any of their equipment) and did not get this email from the CEO. They must have only sent it to equipment or treadmill owners. Wouldn’t you assume that a company would want to get the word out that one of their products could be deadly? Peloton is all about making money like most soulless corporations. Their whole “family” vibe is a complete sham. I like their classes a lot for the variety but I would never shell out the ridiculous amount of money they change for their equipment. There are so many safer, better alternatives for a more reasonable price.
Update I forgot to include before: Peloton says they’ll issue a software update requiring an access PIN, but there’s no word on when this will be available. There’s also apparently a safety key for these, like for similar treadmills.
I’m just including photos from some instructors on the treadmills. This isn’t about them and they’re not culpable at all.