Peloton has been accused of hiding rust and corrosion on its expensive exercise bikes by using a chemical solution in an internal cover-up dubbed “Project Tinman,” the Financial Times reports.
The report states that executives at Peloton concocted a plan to conceal rust and corrosion on their high-end exercise bikes just months after a costly recall of its treadmills created a crisis for the manufacturer.
Peloton Exercise Bikes in Cover-Up Claims
The Financial Times reports that when staff noticed paint was peeling or flaking off on some of the bikes, the company used a chemical solution that basically acted like a concealer by reacting with the rust to form a black layer. This plan was reportedly called “Project Tinman” internally and involved employees concealing the rust before sending them out to customers. The Peloton exercise bikes don’t come cheap. They cost over $3,000 and have been in high demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
Peloton fitness equipment was much sought after during the pandemic when gyms were closed, and people were confined to their homes. But the company saw its shares dramatically drop by 76% in 2021. Last year, Peloton recalled thousands of Tread and Tread+ treadmills in the United States after a 6-year-old child died getting trapped under the treadmill.
Several other children were also severely injured, with at least one child suffering a traumatic brain injury as they got pulled under the treadmills and died. In May 2021, federal regulators with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned people with children and pets to immediately stop using these treadmills. CEO John Foley later apologized for not working with the CPSC sooner and acknowledged there was work to do to repair the company’s image. In January, Peloton said it had seen a significant reduction in demand for the products and planned to pause bike production in February and March.
Not Just Poor Optics
This is a disturbing report, especially after so many reports last year of Peloton’s treadmills seriously injuring or killing young children and pets who were getting sucked under the exercise equipment. It is important to note that corrosion and rusting are not just visual problems. They can potentially cause problems with the safety and stability of the exercise equipment itself, putting users in danger of personal injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a Peloton treadmill or exercise bike, it is important to understand that you have legal rights and options. You may be able to seek compensation for damages, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to provide you with more information about pursuing your rights.