Peloton won’t recall treadmills, sells them without warning, after a child died under one

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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.

[From Yahoo! Finance]

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.

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62 Responses to “Peloton won’t recall treadmills, sells them without warning, after a child died under one”

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  1. Darla says:

    There’s a safety key, but if you don’t know the danger, how careful would you be about removing it? Don’t forget how many children shoot themselves or someone else because a parent left a gun where they can get to it. They need to revamp this, but they won’t because it would involve a recall and they’re not going to take the hit.

  2. Lauren says:

    Oh god! That video is terrifying! There has to be a warning on their website next to the photo of their products that their treadmills should not be used around children and animals and an email should be sent to everyone who purchased one. I get that it can be damaging business, but no as much as the bad publicity and lawsuits that can possibly shut your business down.

  3. Esmom says:

    Yeah, yikes. I had a treadmill (not Peloton and cost me a fraction of theirs) and I would never use it when my kids were little and awake and always had the safety key out when it wasn’t being used. (And, safety warnings were everywhere, in the manual and on the machine.) And when I got a cat I stopped using it completely because I worried she would get intrigued and then injured. That’s common sense, I think. But I read that Peloton’s tread is uniquely dangerous because of the exposed belt in the back, which seems like a pretty major design flaw. How appalling that Foley is being so defiant.

    I’m a happy DIY Peloton user, too. Is it time to look for something else? Another thing I’d read somewhere this weekend but haven’t verified is that Foley is a Trumper. Anyone know if that’s true?

    • Betsy says:

      If Foley is a Trumper, there’d be a special irony in that, given that the former guy believes we shouldn’t exercise because it runs down the finite amount of energy we have.

    • Lucy2 says:

      Same here, mine has a safety key that is always out unless I’m using it, and I typically unplug it too. I also close the door to keep the cats out when I’m using it (which is way too infrequently!). I’ve had it for probably 15 years and it cost me a couple hundred bucks, still works great.

    • Lucky says:

      I’m currently trying to create a cat free zone for my soon to arrive elliptical. I just know that they will be curious and with those moving leg bars a cat could get critically hurt or killed really quick.

      • Sigmund says:

        Yup, we have an elliptical and two cats. We keep it in a closed off room they are not allowed into (even though they hate that, lol). Keeps them safe.

      • Amanda says:

        Same. I have a cat, and I keep my treadmill in a separate room and keep the door closed when I’m not around.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        I have little beagles that love to get close to the pedals when I’m on my keiser. I put up an enclosed baby gate around it that folds away when you don’t need it.

    • Lemons says:

      I hope not because I love their instructors and the music motivation during classes. DIYer here as well, and I really don’t want to switch over to some of the other offerings I’ve seen.

    • CoffeeCup says:

      He is definitely not. I used to work there and it was extremely liberal. It was actually refreshing that politics were discussed openly and I firsthand heard him sepeakout against Trump and co. on multiple occasions. I am sure since they IPOed, he cannot be as vocal about that anymore.

      • Esmom says:

        That’s good to hear. The instructors seem very liberal and give social justice-oriented shoutouts, which are nice.

  4. ME says:

    As a PR gal, I’ve been watching the brand for the last year and waiting for SOMETHING to drop. They blew up so suddenly with their infamous ad and then the pandemic, some crisis was bound to happen and with a higher level of scrutiny than they were used to. And boy did they blow it with this situation. (I was expecting some kind of Big Data scandal with user information, tbh.)

    • LaraW" says:

      Ahahahaha I would not be surprised if this is next. :)

      Wow I’m in a really b-tchy mood this morning. Talking about identity theft like it ain’t no big thing. (I’ve had my identity stolen and I know my info is floating out there in the black market. Had to deal with fraudulent credit cards being opened in my name enough that I locked all my credit scores and bought an expensive ID monitoring service.)

  5. Sienna says:

    All treadmills can kill children or pets. I’ve had a precor and now have the peloton. when our kids were young, we always kept the key hanging high above the tread when not in use.

    Don’t you remember the Mike Tyson’s daughter died in a treadmill accident years ago. Long before peloton existed.

    Parents need to teach their kids not to play on any exercise equipment. None of it are toys, and all can hurt kids. I’m not sure why bad parenting is peloton’s fault.

    • Darla says:

      Come on Sienna, have you met kids? They don’t listen sometimes and you have to closely watch small children, no matter what you teach them. I wouldn’t call it bad parenting, and no I never knew about Tyson’s daughter and I had no idea about this danger.

      • Nicole says:

        I didn’t know about these dangers either, but I still keep my young sons away from them. They don’t have to get pulled under a treadmill to get hurt, they could fall and get flung against the wall. I don’t think it’s too much to ask parents to keep an eye on their kids when around this equipment. Why weren’t those young kids being supervised?

    • SydSyd says:

      I don’t have kids but I babysit my brothers kids the youngest being 4. while 99% of they time they do listen to me and their parents there is that 1% where they are hyper focused on a toy and will try and get it regardless of the tone of my voice it does not equal to bad parenting.

      Maybe peloton and other brands of treadmills can put a Gard or end cap at the back of the tread so there is less exposure? looking at the pictures I can see how easily a small kid or pet can get caught.

    • megs283 says:

      The Peloton tread doesn’t have a safety guard at the back of the treadmill… that’s a serious design flaw.

    • lucky says:

      I think it has multiple points of responsibility. For example, I had no idea that one of the leading causes of broken legs for kids is sitting on their parent’s laps to ride down a slide (the rubber soles of their shoes stick to the side of the slide and their parent’s weight pushes them through it and breaks their little legs!). After that happened to my friend and the pediatrician said, “oh yeah we see this all the time,” I was like, ‘WTF! why don’t they warn us about that?’ I see good parents riding the slide with their young children all the time. You just can’t expect everyone to know everything all the time. Companies need to warn about known dangers so people can be vigilant, and then mistakes will still happen, so making your product as safe as possible, just seems like good business?

  6. Jess says:

    What a horrible response to the death of a child, good lord.

    Is that woman photoshopped onto a treadmill or is it really that big? Lol

  7. Midge says:

    I live a few blocks from the pre-pandemic Peloton studio in NYC. The studio offered free walk-in classes everyday at 9, 10, 11 AM. They wanted to pack the studio for the live tapings. So I’ve never actually paid for a class. I liked the vibe in the studio, the instructors seemed great. I didn’t realize for a long time how it all worked and that they were mini celebrities. I would see people take photos with the instructors after class and it went right over my head. haha. It’s always a shame when a good idea like this, that obviously connects with a lot of people, kind of morphs into a cult-like, profit-driven monster.

    • waitwhat says:

      I find the cult-like aspect of Peloton very off-putting. I know a Peleton devotee who took it VERY personally when the wife ad blew up in a bad way. I was like “who are you?” I applaud those who are dedicated to their health and fitness, but I wish they’d dial back the brand worship…it’s creepy.

      ETA: the CEO is problematic. Loose cannon.

      • Esmom says:

        I hear you on the cultishness of Peloton but honestly, I feel like every fitness company or program or even individual gyms can be like that. The instructors are pleasant and innocuous, imo. I don’t own a bike or tread, just use the app, and I don’t feel like I’m insane about the brand, I barely tell people I use it.

        I would say Cross Fit is at least as cultish and the independent gym I belong to before Covid had a rabid membership base.

        I do want to know more about the CEO, though.

  8. Lemons says:

    I’m subscribed to the Peloton Reddit group which has had some interesting discussions on this.
    First, parents and pet owners need to prioritize the safety of others before their own fitness goals and Instagram pictures. Workout equipment isn’t meant for children, so should be childproofed. It’s also not meant for your pets so make sure they’re not in the vicinity while you’re working out. If you have the $$ for a Tread, you have the money to make sure your workout room is safe.

    They should send out some childproofing equipment since they are noticing particular types of accidents with the Tread+ that aren’t happening with other treadmills.

    It’s the same issue that software developers have with end-users. There is a right way to use the product, but then there is a way that your product is actually used and you have to take that into account, especially at these price points.

    • Betsy says:

      For $4000+ dollars, the childproofing shouldn’t be something you have to install after the fact. That is insane.

  9. Case says:

    Aren’t all treadmills dangerous for kids and pets though? That’s just common sense to me. I guess this is an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think these accidents are Peleton’s fault nor should they need to put out a specific disclaimer. It is the parents’ responsibility to keep their kids away from all heavy, potentially dangerous pieces of exercise equipment and power it down when not in use. I grew up in a small condo and my parents’ exercise stuff was in our living room. I was taught never to go near it so I didn’t get hurt.

    • Ang says:

      I agree, case. Everything can be dangerous, and it’s not up to every company to completely safeguard everything from children. If you are walking on the sidewalk and your child trips over a piece of concrete, it’s not the concretes fault they got hurt. It is the responsibility of the owner of the adult equipment to keep it safe from children.

    • Ang says:

      I agree, case. Everything can be dangerous, and it’s not up to every company to completely safeguard everything from children. If you are walking on the sidewalk and your child trips over a piece of concrete, it’s not the concretes fault they got hurt. It is the responsibility of the owner of the adult equipment to keep it safe from children.

      • GA says:

        There is a degree of materiality though. All treadmills pose some risk to children/animals, but if the belt in the back is exposed in a way that increases the risk beyond common sense (as some commentors and the CDSC seem to be implying), then there is some culpability from the product manufacturer.

        To take your point – if a kid walks on a sidewalk and trips over a piece of concrete on an otherwise even ground, then it is just an unfortunate accident. If the ground has lots of loose pieces of concrete and is very uneven, then it is the responsibility of the city council (or similar body) to ensure pedestrian areas are suitable for pedestrians.

        Owners should ensure their equipment is being used appropriately, but the product manufacturer who is making millions $$$ of this should ensure they have a product – or at the very least, the appropriate disclaimers and warnings – that by and large adhere to the “rationale man” rule.

    • LaraW" says:

      It’s common sense, but if this is serious enough to warrant a very clear, urgent, and frankly kind of scary warning released by a US government agency, I would say that danger is probably materially different from other treadmills of the same kind.

      My guess is not the fact that the use of any treadmill is potentially dangerous and carries inherent risk, but the degree of danger, lack of certain safeguards, negligence in the execution of those safeguards, and absence of clear and conspicuous warnings about the increased risk the consumer is taking on as compared to treadmills of a similar design.

    • Anne Marie says:

      If Peloton doesn’t want to get sued, then they DO need to put a disclaimer on the website and in the materials that they send with the treadmill. That’s just a common-sense business decision. They need to get themselves a better legal department because that’s a multi-million dollar lawsuit in the making.

  10. Cindy says:

    For what it’s worth, we decided not to get the Peloton treadmill because of these incidents. We have two children under the age of 5 and two dogs. It wasn’t worth the risk to me. Our regular treadmill works fine. And also, it is so much more expensive than the bike!! I’d use it more, but still, woof.

  11. Becks1 says:

    The treadmill starts at 4k? Holy eff. We’re an Echelon household (love the community of instructors and the support groups) and their treadmill is around 1400. (there is no screen though.) Peloton’s pricing is insane. (and yesterday when I logged on to ride there was a big warning about keeping animals and kids away from the equipment.)

    The CEO’s response here is pretty bad. A child DIED and this kind of reads to me like “eh, it was only one, lots of people use our treadmills so we know they’re safe.” It seems very tone-deaf.

    • Ang says:

      This is what’s called a “wood way” design treadmill; different from regular treadmills, hence the price. They are built differently and are more expensive. Definitely smoother and worth it once you get used to it.

  12. Gil says:

    I’m afraid of any kind of treadmill and I have always used them with caution. I always wear the safety belt because I have always thought I would lose a teeth at least in a freak accident involving a treadmill. Maybe people with small kids and pets should be extra careful when owning any kinds of treadmill, not just the peloton ones.

    • Darla says:

      I’ve used a treadmill so many times in my life, and I was always very careful for the same reasons. I could always picture myself having a pretty serious mishap on one.

    • Sid says:

      Same here Gil. There have been so many videos out there over the years of treadmill accidents and mishaps, that I am always super careful. When I had one at home I always made to sure to unplug it and tuck the cord away when I wasn’t using it, in case any family or friends came over with their kids.

  13. Sealit says:

    I have another popular brand of treadmill. The first thing I was told was not to rely on the safety key to turn it off and on. Use the power switch under the front. After a few years, I can usually find it on the first try. It’s like digging around to find the latch to pop the hood of your car. I get it now though. My 8 year old would have a tough time finding it.

  14. Willow says:

    I don’t know. I read another article with a second statement from this guy and his tone is very dismissive and puts all the blame on the parents. He says that there are several warnings, which is good. But also that the safety key has to be put in the correct way for it to be safe! This is a large product used in the home, on the floor, where small children and pets spend a lot of time. Doesn’t it have an automatic shut off? Or a sensor, like garage doors? Yes, adults need to be responsible and supervise children and pets, but it only takes one second of inattention for something terrible to happen. And just because one parent is aware of the safe operation of this treadmill doesn’t mean all adults, including guests in the home are. I am disappointed in the response by this company. If they don’t do a better job addressing this danger, I foresee lawsuits.

    • LaraW" says:

      It really doesn’t matter if there are a billion warnings if the safe operation of the treadmill depends solely on the positioning of the key and that this isn’t disclosed clearly and conspicuously. That’s what will get them.

      I can slap on a general warning that driving a car may kill you, but if the chances of death increase by 200% if you don’t shift the gear in exactly this one right way and that fact is not clearly and conspicuously demonstrated/shown/warned for, you have a liability problem. A consumer does assume risk for buying equipment, but the average consumer is not going to assume that the engagement of the safeguard and the life of their child depends on the positioning of a key in exactly one position. I would say it defeats the point of having a safeguard.

      Also no need to foresee lawsuits haha. If it’s serious enough that a government agency has issued an immediate warning, then 1) government is investigating them and will definitely bring some kind of action against them and 2) lawsuits are being written up as we speak.

      • North of Boston says:

        Yeah, if the SAFETY key needs to be inserted in a particular exact way for it to function? Then the engineers need to design the product so that is the obvious and ONLY way for the safety key to be inserted and there are clear indications on whether it it engaged or not.

        It’s like product safety 101. You can’t completely idiot proof everything, but something that is critical for safe operation should be a no-brainer for anyone using the product.

  15. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Yikes! That video is scary.

  16. LaraW" says:

    Hmm. I’m in litigating mode right now: All I can think of is what a great opportunity this is for firms to file a class action complaint. This set of facts, the video, the statement from the CEO, the complete lack of warnings– it’s a perfect storm.

    Only hurdle I think might be is the size of the class, since this seems to be a relatively new product and therefore doesn’t have as many consumers. On the other hand– children and pets injured/dying. That’s a lot of money.

    Even in my head, that sounds horrific because money can never make up for a child’s injury or death (same for pets). But this is the US, and the way to get a message across is to hurt a company’s wallets with huge cash penalties. Also their stocks took a 5.89% dip on Monday after the warning was issued and keeps going down. Be interested to see what their 8-K filings are going to look like.

    • LaraW" says:

      Was reading a little more about this via statements issued by the CPSC and Consumer Reports: it seems like one of the main reasons why CPSC released this warning is because Peloton has refused to recall the product AND has refused to stop selling the Tread+. Per Consumer Reports:

      “The CPSC may issue a warning like this when it decides that a product puts people at an unreasonable risk of injury or death but the manufacturer won’t agree to a recall.” and that “The CPSC can be hamstrung in its ability to force a recall or issue a warning because of laws that make it difficult for the agency to take action in a timely manner without a company’s permission.”

      Basically the CPSC primarily relies on a company’s cooperation to take a product off the market if the agency deems the product to be a sufficient danger to the consumer– and usually the interests of a company are aligned with the interest of making their products safer because it’s better business.

      However, without the cooperation of the company, the legal process to get the product off the market is time consuming and onerous AND during that time consuming, onerous process, the product can still be sold AND the safety hazards still remain because there is no recall. This is video and warning was a way to immediately warn consumers while also forcing Peloton’s hand. It’s also caught the attention of Congress, who are now calling for the recall of the product and want more details on the investigation conducted by the CPSC.

      What everyone is saying here about parental responsibility is true, everything that treadmills are dangerous is true, but one of the key differences is that Peloton REFUSES to recall and will not stop selling the treadmill despite the CPSC’s recommendation.

      So what I gathered is that the CPSC investigated the product, found deficiencies in its safety measures and found those deficiencies serious enough to strongly recommend a recall, Peloton refused and refused to stop selling, so the CPSC found the situation dangerous enough to the general public that they released this statement and video.

  17. manda says:

    The treadmill looks bad, why doesn’t it have something at the back there? There is also a video where a woman was using it and her exercise ball got sucked up and it lifted the machine up and threw her forward.

    Also, whew! 4000 dollars!!! I don’t have that!

  18. JP says:

    I don’t have the tread, but I do have the bike and I’m terrified of my child or dogs getting too close to the wheel- our bike is in a room with a shut door and our 6 year old knows she is not allowed on the bike. If she were younger, we’d probably have child locks on that room. I really believe that if you have this equipment ( or guns or knives or alcohol) and children, you are responsible for keeping the danger away from your child. There is a safety key, store it high or unplug the machine or lock the door. I understand accidents happen, but honestly the video showed two kids in a room full of toys playing on equipment they should not have access to.

  19. Veronica S. says:

    The guy’s a dick, but I’m also….not sure how it could be fixed in a way that most other treadmills wouldn’t have to be recalled, too? The brief time I owned one around children, we kept it in the basement where they weren’t allowed for a reason. The back is exposed on almost all of them, and I own one of the pricier NordicTrack models, at that. To me, it’s more like…I just legitimately wouldn’t own one if I had small children of my own. Older children I’d expect to use common sense and heed warnings, but the little ones are frankly just dumb as hell. There’s only so much pseudo-parenting the world can do for parents. The rest of it they need to figure out themselves.

  20. Wiglet Watcher says:

    The instructors are not to blame for this, but you can’t support them without supporting the company they represent in their workouts.
    They’re all professionals at the top of their game. They can find other jobs. I’d jump off this sinking ship.

  21. Leonelda says:

    My parents just bought the peloton tread and I have the Nordic track. It’s hard to explain but the peloton doesn’t seem to have a guard on the back and it kind of seems to suck things up underneath- even at the front. I had a yoga Matt close to my parents and it started to get caught underneath. My Nordic track has a huge bar underneath the track to stop kids/pets climbing underneath it. I need to go look more closely at the peloton but I don’t think it has the same bar so I do think this makes it more unsafe than other treads.

  22. MissMarirose says:

    With that attitude, he’s gonna lose his business real quick because I guarantee there are several lawyers looking to file a class action lawsuit right now.
    The next child to get injured, after the whole world knows Peleton has been warned and their CEO has announced he’ll do nothing, will be the plaintiff that does them in.

    • LaraW" says:

      Can you imagine the conversations the Board of Directors is having with this dude now? Bet it’s really friendly.

      How long do you think he’s going to stay CEO? I mean, majority shareholder, sure. But the amount of risk he’s exposed his company to just with these public statements and refusing to issue callbacks?

  23. Amelie says:

    I am not going to watch the video, don’t need the image of a child being sucked under a treadmill branded in my mind. I have really ignored the hype around Peloton and don’t really get why people are so jazzed to buy an overly expensive piece of exercise equipment they will probably barely use. However, all exercise equipment is dangerous and no child under the age of 16 (that’s probably being generous) should be around it unsupervised for any reason, whether it’s a treadmill, elliptical, bike, or weight machine. There’s a reason gyms have such strict age limits in their exercise rooms with equipment and why you can’t just let your toddlers run around to their hearts’ content in there. If you can’t secure it away from kids and pets, you have no business buying one. It does sound like Peloton needs to update their warnings and it sounds like there may be some kind of design flaw. But I really don’t understand why parents can’t be held accountable–it is not always the manufacturer’s fault. Keep your kids and pets away from any kind of exercise equipment. I injured myself while trying to use the exercise bike as a young kid unsupervised in another room at my aunt and uncle’s house once. I was fine, the incident was minor and I don’t even think I told my parents about it. But it was a huge lesson to me to stay away from exercise equipment, which I did until I was an adult.

  24. ClaireB says:

    I am honestly surprised at the number of comments blaming the parents for what appears to be a poorly designed product. The onus should be on the manufacturer to make a safe product, not on the consumer to endlessly educate themselves on the physics and possible dangers of every item in their home. That’s what we have regulatory agencies and instructions/warnings for.

    As a parent of 3, I do my best to make sure my kids are safe, but accidents and weird things happen. Most people don’t have a separate room they can easily dedicate to exercise equipment and close the door. Other products are recalled or retrofitted if they prove to be dangerous, so I don’t see that being defensive about the deadliness of the treadmill is going to be productive for this idiot CEO.

  25. Becks1 says:

    So for everyone talking about how parents need to be more proactive – I’m trying to think of a good analogy.

    Everyone has toasters in their house – and you should always supervise your child if they are using the toaster or you don’t let them use it. But maybe they’re reaching over the toaster one day to grab a cup of milk and the toaster explodes and the child is injured. The toaster exploded because there is a flaw in the design of the wiring or how the wiring was made or whatever.

    You still did your job as a parent, but due to a flaw in the product, your child is injured. that’s a problem, especially if it’s not a one-off, especially if the company knows about this flaw, especially if the government agency in charge of regulating safe products for consumers says THIS IS A BAD TOASTER and the company just says, “meh, parents shouldn’t let their kids be around toasters.” That’s not a reasonable response.

    i don’t know if that’s the best analogy but it’s what I can come up with off the top of my head.

    Yes, everyone needs to act responsibly around consumer products, especially large ones like a treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical. But the price for a design choice in a product should not be that your child dies if you are out of the room for a minute.

    ETA and to clarify I haven’t been following this beyond headlines and won’t watch the video, so I don’t know the specifics of what happened or the tread design, just responding to the idea of “personal responsibility.” Corporate responsibility should still be a thing too.

  26. Wickster says:

    It seems it would be very easy to engineer a treadmill with a safety bar in the back covering the tread area–and also to send out a bar to all owners that would fit the back of the treadmill. There should also be an auto-shutoff feature when anything is detected under a treadmill–similar to what you have on a closing garage door. Very simple technology and in the case of a safety bar–not even technology but an inexpensive piece of plastic.
    If that kid had been going after a small toy and not a ball he would be dead now. Thankfully the ball stayed inflated and lifted the bike. But for them to have such a poor design in such an inexpensive product is a serious flaw (though a quick look at other treadmills on Amazon indicates there is only a few treadmills with a safety bar in back)–but a flaw that could be easily corrected. Frankly, you could jerry rig a safety bar on your own with duct tape until they figure it out, it’s that easy.
    As for parents being responsible: I would NEVER rely on anyone to remember all the time to hide their key. And would never ever trust an enterprising kid left alone with such a fun piece of equipment. Especially older kids who would find the key and use it around younger kids and pets.

  27. Meredith says:

    I don’t think there’s a reason to recall. It doesn’t seem any different from other slat treadmills. All exercise equipment can be dangerous to children and pets.