Exercise bike manufacturer Peloton is now facing an investigation after one child was killed and several others were seriously injured on the treadmills.
According to a BBC news report, Peloton recalled 125,000 of its Tread Plus running machines in May, several weeks after initial reports of dangerous product accidents.
The official investigation has now been launched by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security.
Initially, the company said there was “no reason” to stop using the machine. But, the company’s CEO John Foley apologized and said the company had “made a mistake” not recalling the treadmills sooner.
By May, along with news of the child’s death, Peloton had received 72 reports of injuries including cuts, broken bones, and even a traumatic brain injury.
Probing Handling of Injury Reports
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have now subpoenaed the company to get more information and investigate how the firm handled the reports of injuries. Peloton said it would cooperate fully with the investigations. Peloton has also been named in several lawsuits associated with the defective treadmills that have been recalled.
The company’s public disclosures about the injuries will also face scrutiny from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is also investigating Peloton. In April, the CPSC urged owners of these treadmills to stop using them right away if they have children or pets at home. The CPSC alert stated that the Peloton treadmills, which surged in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, posed serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death.
But, at the time, Peloton called the CPSC’s warning “inaccurate and misleading.” The company released a statement saying that “like all motorized exercise equipment the Tread Plus can pose hazards if the warnings and safety instructions are not followed.” However, a number of lawsuits have been filed against Peloton where consumers have alleged that the treadmills caused injuries by virtue of their design.
Holding Corporations Accountable
We hope these federal investigations will take a deeper look into why Peloton initially disregarded reports of at least one child death and dozens of child injuries. As product defect lawyers, we were not surprised that Peloton initially resisted a recall.
Corporations routinely put profits before the well-being of the people who buy their products. No doubt, Peloton wanted to protect their name and their bottom line. We hope those who suffered serious injuries and losses receive fair compensation and that Peloton is held accountable for delaying the recall.