Peloton recalls all treadmills after fatal accident: what you should do next

(Image credit: Peloton)

If you own a Peloton treadmill, you should stop using it immediately. The company is longer selling treadmills anywhere in the world after issuing a voluntary recall in the US.

The recall follows the death of a six-year-old child who became trapped underneath one of the exercise machines, plus 72 other reports of injuries, from grazes to broken bones.

Peloton has two treadmills: the Tread and Tread+. They have both been recalled, but the Tread+ was the machine involved in the fatal accident. It has an unusual design that features rubberized slats rather than a conventional belt, which is intended to feel more like a real road underfoot. The way these slats separate and then close as they move over the rear roller, combined with the lack of any sort of safety bar, means it's possible for objects, hair or clothing to become trapped and pulled underneath.

Initially, Peloton rejected requests from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for the treadmills to be recalled. "CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death. 

"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 said in a statement.

Peloton itself warned Tread+ owners to only use the machine in a room with no children or pets present, and no objects nearby. It also urged users to unplug the treadmill when not in use, and keep the key to unlock it out of reach so it can't be turned on. 

However, it denied that the treadmill's design made it unsafe to use, saying that the CPSC's press release was "inaccurate and misleading".

Peloton Tread

Peloton Tread (Image credit: Peloton)

Now, the company's CEO John Foley has reversed his decision. “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+,” Foley said in a statement. 

“We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”

While the treadmills are still listed on the company's US and UK websites, with details of features and membership options, it's no longer possible to order one or sign up for a payment plan.

What to do next: in the US

There are two separate product recalls, one for the Peloton Tread and another for the Tread+. Users of both machines should stop using them straight away, but if you own a Tread, you can choose to have it repaired.

The problem with the Tread is its touchscreen, which can come loose and cause injury.  Since this is a less serious problem than the belt design of the Tread+, users in the US can either claim a refund, or stop using the machine for the time being and wait for a free inspection and repair to attach the screen more firmly.

Whichever machine you own, you can call Peloton to arrange a refund on 844-410-0141 from 9am to 7pm ET Monday through Friday, and 9am to 6:30 pm ET on weekends. 

What to do next: in the UK

While the Tread+ was only ever available in the US, and the company only sells exercise bikes in Germany, the Tread was also sold in the UK, where users have reported minor injuries such as cuts and bruises.

Since the CPSC only deals with consumer safety in the US, it will be down to the UK Office for Product and Safety Standards to talk with Peloton and decide what happens next. For the time being, it looks like the advice is to stop using your Tread and wait for a call. "The company will be in contact with UK customers that have purchased the product," a government spokesperson told Sky News.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)