Peloton Recalls Its Tread+ and Tread Treadmills After They're Linked to Serious Safety Hazards

The company will no longer sell either product and is offering owners full refunds

The Peloton Tread+ and the Peloton Tread
The recalled Peloton Tread+ (left) and Peloton Tread.
Peloton

Update: On Aug. 16, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Peloton announced that a repair option is now available for the touch screen on the recalled Peloton Tread treadmills. See details below. There is still not a repair option for the recalled Peloton Tread+.

This article was originally published on May 5, 2021.

Peloton has recalled its Peloton Tread+ and Peloton Tread treadmills, according to an announcement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the government agency that oversees most household products, citing safety hazards. This is a reversal for the company, which refused to recall its product last month after coming under fire from the CPSC.

The Peloton Tread+ has been linked to dozens of injuries to children and one death. The recall notice states that “Peloton has received 72 reports of adult users, children, pets and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations.”

The company also notified the CPSC that its newer Peloton Tread’s touch screen can detach and fall, posing a risk of injury to consumers.

Consumers should immediately stop using the treadmills and contact Peloton for a full refund.

The Peloton Tread+ (previously called the Peloton Tread) has been on the market since 2018. A smaller treadmill, also called the Peloton Tread, was slated to go on sale May 27, with 1,000 units already sold in the U.S. as part of a friends-and-family presale.

The recall comes after the CPSC took the unusual step in April of warning consumers with small children or pets at home to immediately stop using the Peloton Tread+. The company initially refused to recall its popular $4,300 exercise machine, according to a CPSC spokesperson, stating that the product was safe as long as users followed operating instructions.

The warning was based on reports of 39 incidents in which a person, a pet, or an object (such as an exercise ball) was sucked under the machine, leading to injuries in both children and adults, many of them serious. “These are more severe injuries than you would imagine with a treadmill,” the CPSC spokesperson told Consumer Reports at the time, adding that the agency had not seen these types of injuries with other treadmills.

More On Product Safety

In light of the CPSC’s warning and the severity of the injuries, CR removed the Peloton Tread+ from its ratings and stopped recommending the product while the investigation was ongoing.

The treadmill’s safety risks first became apparent in March after Peloton's CEO, John Foley, wrote to users of the exercise machines regarding an incident with the Peloton Tread+ that led to the death of a child. Foley advised consumers to “keep children and pets away from Peloton exercise equipment at all times” and to “remove the safety key and store it out of reach of children” when the treadmill was not in use.

The widely publicized fatality prompted the CPSC to request information from Peloton, and the company disclosed that there were additional injuries and incidents tied to the Peloton Tread+.

As the CPSC investigated the reports, including the viewing of disturbing home video footage of a child being sucked underneath a Peloton Tread+ (but escaping without serious injury), the agency asked Peloton to recall its treadmills. But the company refused.

Shortly before the CPSC’s public warning, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., asked for details about the CPSC’s investigation, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., urged Peloton to issue a recall.

The standoff with Peloton draws attention to the fact that the CPSC can’t force companies to issue a recall without taking them to court, even when the agency’s safety experts have tied a hazardous product to deaths or serious injuries.

“The CPSC took a strong and principled stance for safety, and clearly that’s what made Peloton come to the table and agree to offer a full refund,” says William Wallace, CR’s manager of safety policy. “It shouldn’t have required so much time and effort to get this product recalled. This episode underscores why we need to overhaul our outdated laws so the CPSC has the ability to take quicker, forceful action when a product is putting people at risk.”

CPSC's acting chairman, Bob Adler, said in a statement today that he is pleased that the agency and Peloton have agreed on recall terms. He added that the recall “is the result of weeks of intense negotiation and effort, culminating in a cooperative agreement that I believe serves the best interests of Peloton and of consumers.”

Foley apologized for the company’s initial response to the safety issues. “The decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton’s Members and their families," he said. "I want to be clear: Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”

When the CPSC first issued a warning last April, Peloton's home page didn't mention it even though the agency directed people there. Moreover, the page for treadmills still displayed large ads for the products and pricing information as late as May 7. Amelise Lane, a company spokesperson, confirmed to CR that the company “immediately disabled the existing sale feature” for the treadmills.

She also said that it announced the recall widely through its social media channels and direct email to users, adding that it was working hard "to update the footer on the main page, and that will be live in the next few days.”

But CR’s Wallace says this is insufficient.

“It’s rare for a recall notice not to be on a company’s home page days after an announcement, especially when that’s where Peloton is directing people to seek a refund," he says. "Peloton should immediately make the recalls prominent on its home page, and make it clear throughout its website that the recalls involve serious safety hazards.”

When CR staff clicked through the steps a customer would make to seek a refund or repair, it required navigating through multiple clicks and screens.

Recall Details

Product recalled: Peloton Tread+.

Sold at: The Peloton Tread+ was available at onepeloton.com and at Peloton showrooms from September 2018 through April 2021 for about $4,300.

Units sold: About 125,000 Peloton Tread+ treadmills.

The problem: The Peloton Tread+ has been tied to the death of a 6-year-old child who was pulled under the rear of the treadmill. In addition, Peloton has received 72 reports of adult users, children, pets, and/or objects being pulled under the rear of the Peloton Tread+. These included 29 reports of injuries to children, such as second- and third-degree abrasions, broken bones, and lacerations.

The fix: Consumers who own the Peloton Tread+ should immediately stop using it and contact Peloton for a full refund until Nov. 6, 2022. Those who return the Tread+ treadmill after that date will receive a partial refund. For those who don't want a refund, Peloton is offering to move the treadmill free of charge to a room where children or pets can't access it. The company is also making software improvements that will automatically lock the Tread+ after each use and prevent unauthorized access. A four-digit passcode will be required to unlock it.

Product recalled: Peloton Tread.

Sold at: The Peloton Tread was available via limited invitation-only release at onepeloton.com and at Peloton showrooms from November 2020 through March 2021 for about $2,500.

Units sold: About 1,050 Peloton Tread treadmills (in addition to about 5,400 in Canada).

The problem: The Peloton Tread’s touch screen can detach and fall, posing a risk of injury to consumers. To date, the company is aware of 18 reports of the touch screen loosening and six reports of the touch screen detaching and falling. While no injuries have been reported in the U.S., there have been reports of minor injuries, such as abrasions, minor cuts, and bruises, in Canada and the U.K.

The fix: Consumers who own the Peloton Tread should immediately stop using it and contact Peloton for a full refund. For those who don't want a refund, Peloton is offering the option of waiting for a free inspection and repair that will secure the touch screen to the treadmill.

How to contact the manufacturer: Contact Peloton at 866-679-9129 or go to its website.

To report a dangerous product or product-related injury, go to SaferProducts.gov.

Editor’s Note: On May 7, 2021, after CR’s inquiry to Peloton about the absence of the recall notice on the homepage, the company updated it with a “Product Recalls” link at the bottom of the page. The notice is still not as prominent as CR advocates would like given the severity of the associated safety hazards.


Rachel Rabkin Peachman

I'm a science journalist turned investigative reporter on CR's Special Projects team. My job is to shed light on issues affecting people's health, safety, and well-being. I've dug deep into problems such as dangerous doctors, deadly children's products, and contamination in our food supply. Got a tip? Follow me on Twitter (@RachelPeachman).