Peloton is an American exercise equipment company founded in 2012 that garnered media attention after a successful Kickstarter funding campaign in 2013. Today, the company is well known for its stationary bicycles and treadmills that feature a touch screen where those paying a subscription fee can remotely attend classes conducted by fitness instructors.
A dangerous, deadly, and denied defect
The touch screen technology is what sets Peloton apart from the competition. However, it is that same part of treadmills that are creating headaches for the company. On May 5th, the company announced voluntary recalls for Tread+ and Tread machines due to safety concerns over the touch screen loosening and outright detaching from the treadmill.
To date, several users have been injured, and one child died.
Sadly, the company did not take immediate action. The recall came after weeks of discussions between Peloton and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. John Foley, Peloton’s CEO, initially disputed the recall, informing customers that they should continue to use their treadmills. He added the proviso that children and pets should not be nearby during use, and customers should lock the equipment away following workouts.
Later, Foley issued an apology for his company’s initial lack of cooperation and outright inaction. He referred to it as a “mistake.”
The financial consequence saw the company’s stock drop 15 percent or $4.1 billion of their market value. Year to date, the stock is down 45 percent. However, victims and their loved ones suffer their own consequences for a severe product defect resulting in injuries and death.
Peloton’s success story has become a tragic tale.