Peloton recalls treadmills, halts sales, after a child dies

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FILE – This Nov. 19, 2019 file photo shows a Peloton logo on the company’s stationary bicycle in San Francisco. Peloton is recalling its treadmills after one child died and 29 other children suffered from cuts, broken bones and other injuries from being pulled under the rear of the treadmill. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday, May 5, 2021, that Peloton received 72 reports of adults, kids, pets or other items, such as exercise balls, being pulled under the treadmill. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — 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 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 U.S. 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 Wednesday, Foley apologized and said the company “made a mistake” in its initial response to the safety commission.

Shares of New York-based Peloton Interactive Inc. sunk more than 10% to $86.91 after the recall was announced 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 workout at home. In the last three months of 2020, the company brought in $1 billion 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 6 years old, died.

Those who own the treadmill have until Nov. 6, 2022, to get a full refund from Peloton. For those that 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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