Safety Concerns Prompt Consumer Reports to Remove Peloton Tread+ From Its Ratings

The CPSC has linked the treadmill to 39 incidents where people or objects have been pulled under the machine

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Update, May 5: Peloton has recalled its Tread and Tread+ treadmills, according to the Consumer Product Safety Comission.

Consumer Reports has temporarily removed the Peloton Tread+ from our treadmill ratings, and we are no longer recommending the product. This move comes as a result of an urgent safety warning that the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued April 17. The warning was based on reports of 39 incidents where a person, a pet, or an object was pulled under the machine, leading to injuries to children and adults, many of them serious.

Peloton provided data on the incidents to the CPSC at the agency’s request after one was linked to the death of a child. According to a Peloton spokesperson, of the 39 reports, 23 involved children, 15 involved objects, and one involved a pet. The CPSC says no other treadmill has been associated with these types of incidents.

“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,” says Liam McCormack, vice president of research, testing, and insights at 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,” McCormack says.

CR rates treadmills on five variables: ease of use, construction quality, ergonomics, exercise range (to determine whether a machine is suitable for a variety of fitness levels), and user safety.

More on Treadmills

Our user safety tests evaluate factors such as tripping hazards, accessibility of the emergency stop button, the workings of the safety key, and the security of folding models.

CR’s treadmill testing team is looking into whether there is a way to modify our testing protocols for our comparative evaluations to identify the risk of something being pulled underneath a treadmill.

A spokesperson for Peloton told CR in a statement: “Peloton cares deeply about our Members’ safety and well-being. Every new feature and product release is thoroughly tested and measured against industry standards.” The company added: “We are continuing to work with CPSC on its investigation into these incidents.”

CR has previously removed recommendations for products after safety issues emerged that were not detected in our initial testing, such as when some Samsung washing machines were found to pose a safety risk. Prior to the removal, the Peloton Tread+ was CR’s highest rated treadmill.

According to a CPSC spokesperson, some of the design features unique to the Peloton Tread+—notably its height off the ground and its belt mechanism—may make the treadmill particularly dangerous. “The belt is constructed of individual, rubberized slats that are interlocked and run on a rail, while many treadmills use a thinner, continuous belt,” says John Galeotafiore, associate director of product testing at Consumer Reports, who has overseen treadmill testing for more than 25 years.

The CPSC has urged Peloton to recall the Tread+, but so far, the company has refused. In the meantime, the agency has urged consumers with small children or pets at home “to stop using the product immediately.”

Our article “How to Stay Safe on a Treadmill” offers more safety tips.


Head shot image of CRO Health editor Kevin Loria

Kevin Loria

I'm a science journalist who writes about health for Consumer Reports. I'm interested in finding the ways that people can transform their health for the better and in calling out the systems, companies, and policies that expose patients to unnecessary harm. As a dad, I spend most of my free time trying to keep up with a toddler, but I also enjoy exploring the outdoors whenever possible. Follow me on Twitter (@kevloria).