Peloton has refuted claims made in an "urgent" US safety advisory warning of the risk to children caused by the Tread+.
The Peloton Tread+, a treadmill that includes Internet and Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in soundbar, and display, is a product offered by Peloton designed to link to real-time exercise classes for users over 16 years of age.
On April 17, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a video showing two children playing on a Tread+, one of which became temporarily trapped.
The CPSC then published a public health and safety notice to US consumers, urging users with children to "stop using the product immediately."
According to the US agency, the Peloton Tread+ has been linked to 39 incidents involving children and pets, with potential risks including abrasions and fractures. The death of a child has been recorded.
The commission has launched an investigation into the fatality, which was disclosed by Peloton in March. At the time, in a letter to users, Peloton CEO and co-founder John Foley said the company designs and builds products "with safety in mind," but urged users to "keep children and pets away from Peloton exercise equipment at all times."
Separately, a three-year-old boy suffered head and neck injuries after becoming trapped under a Tread+, leading to what the CPSC calls "significant brain injury."
"Peloton was shocked and devastated to learn in March that a child died while using the Tread+," Peloton said. "Within a day of learning this news, Peloton notified CPSC. While preparing its report to CPSC, Peloton learned through a doctor's report to CPSC's public database that a child had experienced a brain injury. Peloton spoke to the family who reported that and the child is expected to fully recover."
"In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately," the agency warned.
According to the CPSC, one safety incident may have occurred when a parent was using the treadmill, and it may be that "the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use."
The US agency recommends that consumers should keep their Tread+ in a locked room and other objects, such as exercise balls, should be kept well away.
In response to the alert, Peloton issued its own statement branding the advisory as "misleading" and "inaccurate."
"There is no reason to stop using the Tread+, as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed," the company said. "Children under 16 should never use the Tread+, and members should keep children, pets, and objects away from the Tread+ at all times."
Peloton has also asked users to detach the Safety Key when the treadmill is not in use, as this would prevent the Tread+ from being inadvertently turned on, "precisely to avoid the kind of incident that [the CPSC's] video depicts."
Furthermore, Peloton claims that the company was willing to make a joint statement with CPSC concerning the safety worries, but the agency "unfairly characterized Peloton's efforts to collaborate and to correct inaccuracies in CPSC's press release as an attempt to delay."
In a follow-up note, Peloton's CEO said there was no obstruction to the investigation, with the exception of the agency's demands for personal data from customers that requested this information was withheld.
"Peloton is disappointed that, despite its offers of collaboration, and despite the fact that the Tread+ complies with all applicable safety standards, CPSC was unwilling to engage in any meaningful discussions with Peloton before issuing its inaccurate and misleading press release," Peloton added.
Foley says the company has "no intention" of recalling or stopping sales of the Tread+.
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