Peloton, the fitness company that once was mostly known for a bizarre ad that went viral, as well as Ryan Reynolds lampooning them with a gin ad, has thrived in the pandemic. Sales of its bikes and treadmills have exploded during a time when gyms have been closed or considered unsafe, with people hoping to replicate their spin classes and workouts from the comfort of home.
But one product the company makes — an interactive treadmill called the Peloton Tread+ — has drawn strong warnings from a federal agency, who’ve advised parents after dozens of children were injured by the device. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a strong statement against the Tread+, even sharing a horrifying video of children playing on an unattended machine before one gets sucked under its belt.
The video, which you can watch above, quickly went viral, along with a warning that parents should stop using the device or, at the very least, unplug it when not in use. According to The New York Post, the agency said the device poses “serious risks” if not used properly.
“CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death,” the agency said.
“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.”
Peloton customers who want to continue to machines should keep them in a locked room away from kids and pets — as well as unplug them when not in use and keep all other objects away from them, the agency said.
The CPSC said there were 39 documented cases where the treadmills caused injury, at least one case involving a child who died. The problem is the bike, which has a flatscreen on which you watch a guided running class, can start running with just a few presses on screen. The belt then can start moving, and if kids or pets are not careful the force of the belt can actually bring small things under it, causing injury.
Peloton issued a statement in response, calling the dire warning “inaccurate and misleading” and noting that it warns its customers to use the device safely.
“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 statement said.
It added that “there is no reason to stop using the Tread+ as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed.”
Like all treadmills, there are risks associated with the devices being used incorrectly. The video is a horrifying reminder of that, and hopefully one people with children and pets take to heart. Peloton can give you a great workout if you want it, but it might be worth the few extra seconds to ensure no one gets hurt by it when you’re not around.