June 14, 2021

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Peloton recalls treadmills after denying they were dangerous

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Peloton is recalling 125,000 of its treadmills less than a month after denying that were dangerous, even after they were linked to the death of a child.

Peloton is recalling about 125,000 of its treadmills, less than a month after denying they were dangerous and saying it would not pull them from the market, even though they were linked to the death of a child and injuries of 29 others.

The company said on Wednesday that it will now offer full refunds for the Peloton Tread+ treadmills, which cost more than $4,200. It will also stop selling them.

The recall comes after the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission warned on April 17 that people with children and pets should immediately stop using the Tread+ treadmill after a child was pulled under it and died.

At the time, Peloton pushed back against the safety commission saying the warning was “inaccurate and misleading” and that there was no reason to stop using the machines. CEO John Foley also said he had “no intention” of recalling the treadmills.

In a statement on Wednesday, Foley apologised and said the company “made a mistake” in its initial response to the safety commission.

Shares of New York-based Peloton Interactive Inc sank more than 10 percent to $86.91 after the recall was announced on Wednesday, its second-biggest percentage decline.

Peloton is best known for its stationary bikes, but it introduced treadmills about three years ago. Sales of Peloton equipment have soared during the pandemic as virus-weary people avoid gyms and work out at home. In the last three months of 2020, the company brought in $1bn in revenue, more than double what it made the year before.

In all, Peloton said it received 72 reports of adults, kids, pets or other items, such as exercise balls, being pulled under the treadmill. Of those reports, 29 were of children who suffered injuries, including broken bones and cuts. One child, who was six years old, died.

Those who own the treadmill have until November 6, 2022, to get a full refund from Peloton. For those who want to keep the treadmill, Peloton said it will move it free of charge to a room where children or pets cannot access it and update the software so a passcode is required to unlock it.

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