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Peloton Treadmills Present a Deadly Threat to Kids, Government Claims

By Rhian Hunt - Apr 19, 2021 at 12:43PM

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The exercise machine and workout company responds by saying the warning is misleading and inaccurate.

The Tread+, a home exercise treadmill sold by streaming workout provider Peloton Interactive (PTON -9.52%), was targeted as unsafe over the weekend by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Peloton claims the warning is "misleading and inaccurate."

The CPSC says its warning is based on "multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product," linking a video showing a small boy seemingly being sucked under a treadmill, then escaping with difficulty. The commission also said it "urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately," citing 38 injuries and one death.

A view from above showing a young woman using a Peloton Tread treadmill in a home.

Image source: Peloton Interactive.

The government agency added pets can also be pulled under an active Tread+. According to the claims, the machine can also draw in objects like exercise balls, potentially causing the device to tip over and cause injuries.

Peloton's CEO John Foley fired back a response, declaring the "Tread+ is safe when our warnings and safety instructions are followed." He also responded to demands his company stop selling or recall the Tread+, telling customers, "I want to assure you that we have no intention of doing so." He said the company notified the CPSC correctly about all incidents, only withholding personal information of Tread+ users who requested privacy.

Foley added the company's "product team is working on a new software-enabled, backup access code that will provide an additional layer of protection against unwanted use of the Tread+."

It also remains unclear whether the CPSC has established the Tread+ is any more likely to pull children, pets, or animals under it than any other currently manufactured treadmill.

The news caused Peloton's share price to drop over 3% in Monday trading after a long period of soaring growth

Rhian Hunt has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Peloton Interactive. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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