Peloton Tread+ Safety Update Makes Machines Unusable for Nonpaying Users
Peloton is temporarily waiving membership fees for those customers and says it is working on a fix
Peloton announced a new safety feature for consumers who have not yet returned their recalled Tread+ treadmills for a full refund, but the new feature left some users locked out of the connected machines entirely.
Via a software update, the company added the Tread Lock feature, which requires users to input a passcode to use their treadmills. That’s designed to prevent kids or unauthorized users from activating the machines. In May, a nationwide recall of the Tread+ treadmill began after 72 reports of adults, children, pets, or objects being pulled under the treadmill—resulting in at least 29 injuries to children and one death.
But the new, mandatory Tread Lock safety feature is currently available only to users with an All-Access membership. Once it was deployed, those who were not paying $39 per month for access to Peloton’s virtual fitness classes were unable to use the treadmill at all. Previously, those who did not subscribe to virtual classes could still use the machine’s Just Run feature.
“Once the machine did an automatic software update, it turned the treadmill completely off for use,” says Jennifer Strong, who posted about the issue in a Facebook group for Peloton users.
“Unfortunately, at this time, ’Just Run’ is no longer accessible without a Peloton Membership,” a company representative told Strong in an email reviewed by Consumer Reports, which failed to mention that she could return the machine for a full refund as part of the recall.
The Peloton Tread+ recall was announced jointly by Peloton and the CPSC on May 5. In the recall, the company announced that consumers could contact Peloton to arrange for a full refund until Nov. 6, 2022. For consumers who do not want a refund, Peloton is offering to move the treadmill free of charge to a room where children or pets cannot access the treadmill. The company also announced that it would be implementing safety features like the Tread Lock, though it was not clear at the time that this feature would require a membership.
“To win back people’s trust, and show that it is truly putting safety first, Peloton should be transparent about how the Tread+ recall is going—which is even more important in light of this latest issue,” Wallace says. CR asked Peloton for details about the progress of its recall, but the company declined to share this information, which must be reported monthly to the CPSC.
CR recommends that Tread+ users immediately stop using the machine and contact Peloton at 866-679-9129 or via its website to return the treadmill for a full refund.