Nautilus makes third recall of the Bowflex Ultimate 2 home gym

Consumer Reports News: March 06, 2009 11:48 AM

Nautilus has recalled 78,000 Bowflex home gyms after getting 18 reports of injuries resulting in head and shoulder lacerations, some requiring stitches or staples. The injuries were caused by seat rails that fell because they were not manually latched. The gym's horizontal seat rail is designed to be latched in a vertical position for storage.

The recall, announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, involves the Bowflex Ultimate 2 Home Gyms, which are equipped with pulleys, resistance rods, and other equipment that allows the user to perform a variety of exercises. “Bowflex Ultimate 2” is written on the vertical part of the frame.

This is the third recall of this particular home gym. In December 2007, 68,000 gyms were recalled after Nautilus received three reports of consumers suffering bruised arms, sore elbows and a sore back when the resistance rods or rod box separated from the machine and struck the user. The fasteners used to secure the rod box to the frame of the equipment came loose on at least 10 occasions.

And three years ago,  17,000 gyms purchased prior to December 10, 2005 were recalled for repair for problems with two of the cables becoming disengaged while in use. No injuries were reported.

When asked about the multiple recalls, Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the CPSC said that the agency had "announced numerous recalls over the years of Nautilus products which posed serious safety hazards to users of their fitness machines. CPSC even levied a nearly $1 million civil penalty against the company in 2005."

In that case, Nautilus was fined for failing to give the CPSC timely reports on serious injuries and safety defects from nearly 800,000 Bowflex fitness machines. The Bowflex Power Pro XL, XTL and XTLU systems were recalled in 2004 after the agency received numerous reports of injuries.

"In the aftermath of paying a penalty, the CPSC expects companies to improve the safety of their products and their method for reporting safety issues to the agency," Wolfson added.

The Ultimate 2 gyms in the most recent recall were sold at specialty fitness retailers nationwide and through direct Nautilus sales from June 2005 through January 2009 for about $2,300.

Nautilus is offering owners repair kits for the various defects. The firm plans to send the kits to owners who registered their gyms. Others should contact Nautilus at (800) 259-9019 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.bowflex.com for more information.

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