Peloton Tread Plus: CPSC warns it can kill kids, pets and says stop using it 'immediately'

The treadmill poses "serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death," says the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Peloton pushes back.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
  • Ed was a member of the CNET crew that won a National Magazine Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors for general excellence online. He's also edited pieces that've nabbed prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists and others.
Edward Moyer
3 min read
Peloton Tread Plus

The Peloton Tread Plus presents a potentially fatal risk to children and pets, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.


Editor's note, May 5, 2021: Peloton has issued a voluntary recall of its newer Tread and original Tread Plus treadmills because of reports of injuries and a potentially fatal risk to children and pets. At this time, you cannot purchase the new Tread or older Tread Plus from Peloton. See the full details of the recall.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an "urgent warning" Saturday, telling people to immediately stop using the Peloton Tread Plus treadmill because of a potentially fatal risk to children and pets. The Tread Plus, formerly known as the 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," the agency said in a statement on its site. Pets are also in danger, added the commission, which is an independent federal regulatory agency charged with guarding the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from products. 

The CPSC said it was aware of 39 accidents, including one death. Peloton confirmed Saturday that there had been "39 incidents," with 23 involving children, one involving a pet, and 15 with unspecified objects. In March, Peloton CEO John Foley sent a note to customers informing them that a child had died in an accident involving the Peloton Tread Plus and urging them to review and follow safety warnings for the company's exercise equipment.

Peloton called the CPSC's warning "inaccurate and misleading."

"Like all motorized exercise equipment Tread+ is safe when used in accordance with our safety warnings," a company spokesperson said Saturday. The spokesperson also pointed to Peloton's full statement about Saturday's CPSC warning, which says the company is "troubled" by the commission's "unilateral" stance on the safety of its products.

Peloton says in the full statement that "there is no reason to stop using the Tread+, as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed. Children under 16 should never use the Tread+, and Members should keep children, pets, and objects away from the Tread+ at all times."

In a follow-up note on Sunday, Foley said Peloton doesn't plan to stop selling or to recall the Tread Plus. He also said Peloton has "fully cooperated" with the CPSC with one exception, saying it "resisted their demands for personally identifiable information of certain Members" because those members requested the company not provide that information to the commission. 

"Government agencies shouldn't have unfettered access to consumers' private information," said Foley in the note. "I imagine some Members asked for their information to be protected in order to avoid personal attacks like some that we've seen in response to the Tread+ incidents that CPSC publicized yesterday." 

In its statement on Saturday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission urged consumers to "stop using the Peloton Tread+ if there are small children or pets at home."

"Incidents suggest that children may be seriously injured while the Tread+ is being used by an adult, not just when a child has unsupervised access to the machine," the agency warns, and it says consumers should also take the following steps:

  • "If consumers must continue to use the product, CPSC urges consumers to use the product only in a locked room, to prevent access to children and pets while the treadmill is in use. Keep all objects, including exercise balls and other equipment, away from the treadmill.
  • "When not in use, unplug the Tread+ and store the safety key away from the device and out of reach of children.
  • "Report any Peloton Tread+ incidents to CPSC at or to CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772."

The agency notes that from August 2018 to September 2020 the Tread Plus was called, simply, the Tread. It gives the model number as TR-01.

The CPSC also posted a video that illustrates how a child can get pulled beneath the Peloton Tread Plus. It's unclear from the video whether the child escaped serious injury. The toddler does manage to get free of the machine and stumble away. Note: The video may be disturbing to watch.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.