A US federal agency has urged people with children and pets at home to stop using a treadmill made by Peloton, citing injuries and one death linked to the machines.
In an urgent warning, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Saturday that the Tread+ treadmill poses serious risks to children, including abrasions, fractures and even death.
The regulator said it was aware of 39 incidents involving the treadmill, including "multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled" beneath the roller. One pet was also reportedly sucked under the machine.
A video uploaded by the CPSC to YouTube showed a small child become trapped head-first under a running treadmill before eventually wriggling free.
In its own statement, New York-based Peloton called the safety commission's warning "inaccurate and misleading."
While it acknowledged that one child had died in March while using the Tread+ and that another had suffered a brain injury, the company said there was no reason to stop using the machine so long as safety instructions were followed.
Peloton said that its members had been reminded that "children, pets, and objects should be kept clear of the Tread+ at all times." The company also advised storing the safety key out of children's reach.
According to the safety commission, in at least one incident a child was injured while a parent was running on the treadmill "suggesting that the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use."
For those who continue to use the Tread+, the commission advised keeping the machine in a locked room to prevent children or pets from accessing it at any time.
The CPSC and the fitness company appear to be at loggerheads over what to do with the Tread+.
According to the Washington Post, the company has not initiated a product recall to repair or replace it, as desired by the commission.
Peloton, primarily known for its stationary exercise bike, sells the Tread+ treadmill for upwards of $4,300.
Sales of Peloton equipment have soared during the pandemic as people seek to maintain a fitness regimen in the absence of an open gym.