Peloton co-founder and CEO John Foley speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2018 at the Moscone Center on Sept. 6, 2018 in San Francisco.
Kimberly White | Getty images
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Saturday that consumers should stop using the fitness equipment manufacturer’s Tread + treadmill Peloton if small children or pets are around.
The announcement came a month after Peloton itself revealed a treadmill accident that resulted in the death of a child.
The warning could pose challenges for the company as it seeks to expand its business by selling active systems of online content.
The US agency said it was aware of 39 incidents, including one death, and reports of a pet and objects being sucked under the treadmill. The agency released a video of a child getting stuck under the device while it was spinning, although the child managed to get out.
If people want to continue to use the Tread +, they should do so only in an enclosed area and keep other items away, the agency said. It advised people to unplug the treadmill when not in use and to keep the key to turn it on elsewhere and out of the reach of children.
Peloton called the agency’s claims inaccurate in a statement on Saturday, saying there is no reason to stop using the Tread + if people follow the safety instructions. It said it had told the agency about incidents, but found that the agency did not want to have “meaningful conversations” with the company. Platoon said classes now include additional safety messages from instructors.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat representing Connecticut and chair of the subcommittee on consumer protection, product safety and data security, released a statement on Saturday calling on Platoon to recall the Tread +. “It is unreasonable that Peloton would hinder the Commission at every step of its investigation, given this troubling evidence about one of its major products,” said Blumenthal.
After picking up buzz from its exercise bikes and fitness app, Peloton diversified its operations with the launch of the Tread + in 2018. The product was initially called the Tread, but in 2020 the company changed the name of the product to Tread + to accommodate for a cheaper model called Tread. Peloton does not specify how much of its revenue comes from treadmill sales.
In February, Peloton said it was delaying the launch of the Tread model in the US after it was released in the UK in December. Rather than launching in February, Foley said the company would roll out the products in 48 states in May.
Peloton’s stock price rose 434% in 2020 as people adopted the company’s products during the coronavirus pandemic, as people stayed at home and had limited access to gyms. Shares of Peloton fell nearly 5% on March 18, the day the Foley mentioned the accident in a letter.
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