The exercise bike company Peloton fought back on Saturday after a federal agency warned that those with children at home should stop using the company’s Tread+ treadmills.
The agency, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, issued an “urgent warning” after reports of 38 injuries and one death linked to the machine, which was previously known as the Tread.
The agency said those with small children at home should stop using the machine, warning that the Tread+ posed risks to children, including abrasions, fractures and even death.
The commission said that at least one accident was believed to have happened while a parent was using the treadmill. Those who continue to use it should do so in a locked room inaccessible to children and pets, the agency said.
The commission on Saturday also shared a video of a child who became stuck under the machine. After a few seconds, the child was able to get free and walk away.
The commission did not share the age of the child who died or of those who had been injured.
Joe Martyak, a spokesman for the commission, said it was continuing to investigate dangers related to the Tread+ machine.
“Given the hazard patterns that have been reported involving children in homes with this product, the public health and safety warrant a warning of this nature,” Mr. Martyak said.
Peloton pushed back on Saturday, saying that the commission’s warning was “inaccurate and misleading.” The company said in the statement that there was no reason for consumers to refrain from using the machine, adding that safety instructions should always be followed.
Peloton acknowledged “a child died while using the Tread+” machine, adding that it was “shocked and devastated” to learn of the death. The company also reported that another child had sustained a brain injury in an accident. That child was expected to make a full recovery, Peloton said.
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April 16, 2021, 1:30 p.m. ET
“While Peloton knows that the Tread+ is safe for the home when used in accordance with warnings and safety instructions, the company is committed to taking whatever steps are necessary and appropriate to further inform members of potential risks,” the company said.
“The importance of following Peloton’s safety warnings and instructions is abundantly clear in the video,” Peloton said, referring to the video shared by the commission. The company added that Peloton instructs its customers to remove the machine’s safety key when not in use to avoid such incidents.
The machine costs more than $4,200, according to the company’s website.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut, called on Peloton to cooperate with the agency.
“It’s clear that the Peloton Tread+ must be recalled,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “The company’s attempts to dismiss reports of injury as consumer misuse are irresponsible and inexcusable, as multiple incidents happened with adults using the treadmill according to company instructions. ”
Peloton said it had invited the commission to make a joint announcement about the risks of not following safety instructions and that John Foley, the company’s chief executive, asked to meet with the agency.
“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,” the company said.
Mr. Foley in a letter posted in March addressed the child’s death.
“While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved,” Mr. Foley said.