Peloton is recalling all of its Tread and Tread+ treadmills just to be on the safe side because dozens of others reporting "injuries" while using them.
"I want to be clear: Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's request that we recall the Tread+," CEO John Foley announced in a statement.
"We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize."
Untold thousands of children have died from toxic vaccines, by the way, and never once has a pharmaceutical company responded with an apology, let alone a recall. And yet user misuse of exercise equipment was enough in Peloton's case to pull back all associated products.
News of the recall sent Peloton's shares plummeting about 15 percent, hitting a low not seen since September. This resulted in about $4.1 billion getting wiped away from Peloton's market value.
Peloton customers who own either a Tread or Tread+ treadmill product are being asked to immediately stop using the product and contact the company for a full refund or other qualified remedies.
Peloton says it is working on a "repair" that will soon be offered to treadmill owners who want to keep their equipment rather than obtain a refund.
The recall affects some 125,000 Tread+ machines and about 1,050 Tread machines sold in the United States.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says it has received about 18 reports of Tread and Tread+ products having their touchscreens loosen, along with six reports that the touchscreens completely detached and fell from the product.
This is supposedly how the child died after being struck by the falling touchscreen. Dozens of others have reported injuries from the falling screen.
Another problem with the machines is that they were manufactured with "an unusual belt design that uses individual rigid rubberized slats or treads that are interlocked and ride on a rail."
Most other treadmill products on the market use a thinner, continuous belt design that has stood the test of time in terms of reliability.
On top of containing these slats, Peloton's Tread products stand too high from the floor, CPSC says, allowing for things to wiggle their way underneath.
At the time when these flaws were first noticed, Peloton pushed back against a recall, telling its customers that there was no good reason why they should not continue using Peloton products without question – just so long as children and pets stayed out of the area.
Peloton also told its customers to use a key to lock the equipment after each use.
"This recall is the right step – though dangerously delayed," stated Rep. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat representing Connecticut who also chairs the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security.
"Peloton unacceptably put consumers at risk, obstructed the CPSC’s investigation and its consumer warnings."
How much damage this recall will impose upon Peloton's reputation remains unclear. The company sold its first treadmill back in 2018 for $4,300 and has since offered multiple new iterations.
In the U.K., Peloton sells a smaller, cheaper version of its treadmill product that does not include the same rigid slats as the Tread+ product sold here in the U.S.
"We acknowledge that this recall will likely result in significant near-term, one-time financial costs and operational disruption, with potential reputational damage," indicated Trust Securities analyst Youssef Squali in a note to clients.
"Stepping back and looking at the broader picture, however, we believe that the secular growth trends in the home fitness industry remain intact."
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