Consumer Reports has temporarily removed the Peloton Tread+ from its treadmill ratings, and it is no longer recommending the product. This move comes as a result of an urgent safety warning that the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued April 17. The warning was based on reports of 39 incidents where a person, a pet, or an object was pulled under the machine, leading to injuries to children and adults, many of them serious.
Peloton provided data on the incidents to the CPSC at the agency’s request after one was linked to the death of a child. According to a Peloton spokesperson, of the 39 reports, 23 involved children, 15 involved objects, and one involved a pet. The CPSC says no other treadmill has been associated with these types of incidents.
“We are taking the rare and unusual step of removing the Peloton Tread+ from our ratings based on the incident data described by the CPSC, given the severity and the nature of the injuries and that the agency has not seen these types of injuries with other treadmills,” says Liam McCormack, vice president of research, testing, and insights at Consumer Reports.
“Given that the incidents involved not only children but adults we believe that there is a safety risk, and we’re removing our rating and recommendation while we investigate further, monitor the company’s ongoing response, and await more information from the CPSC,” McCormack says.
CR rates treadmills on five variables: ease of use, construction quality, ergonomics, exercise range (to determine whether a machine is suitable for a variety of fitness levels), and user safety.
CR’s user safety tests evaluate factors such as tripping hazards, accessibility of the emergency stop button, the workings of the safety key, and the security of folding models.
CR’s treadmill testing team is looking into whether there is a way to modify our testing protocols for our comparative evaluations to identify the risk of something being pulled underneath a treadmill.
A spokesperson for Peloton told CR in a statement: “Peloton cares deeply about our Members’ safety and well-being. Every new feature and product release is thoroughly tested and measured against industry standards.” The company added: “We are continuing to work with CPSC on its investigation into these incidents.”
CR has previously removed recommendations for products after safety issues emerged that were not detected in our initial testing, such as when some Samsung washing machines were found to pose a safety risk. Prior to the removal, the Peloton Tread+ was CR’s highest rated treadmill.
According to a CPSC spokesperson, some of the design features unique to the Peloton Tread+—notably its height off the ground and its belt mechanism—may make the treadmill particularly dangerous.
“The belt is constructed of individual, rubberized slats that are interlocked and run on a rail, while many treadmills use a thinner, continuous belt,” says John Galeotafiore, associate director of product testing at Consumer Reports, who has overseen treadmill testing for more than 25 years.
The CPSC has urged Peloton to recall the Tread+, but so far, the company has refused. In the meantime, the agency has urged consumers with small children or pets at home “to stop using the product immediately.”
CR’s article “How to Stay Safe on a Treadmill” offers more safety tips.