A federal class action filed Tuesday accuses Peloton of defying a government agency’s warning that its treadmills are unsafe and should not be used in homes with children and seeks a refund for anyone who bought one of its Tread+ devices.
OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) — A California woman is suing exercise equipment maker Peloton for marketing its products as safe despite a federal agency’s “urgent” safety warning over its Tread+ line of treadmills following a spate of injuries to children.
“The Tread+ contains significant design flaws that makes it defective, unfit for use in a home with children, and unreasonably dangerous for its intended purpose. Namely, because the design is extremely susceptible to children (and pets) getting trapped underneath the machine while it is operating,” says the class action lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday.
Lead plaintiff Shannon Albright claims she learned of the defect only days ago, on the heels of a warning issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that says it knows of 38 injuries and one death linked to the machine as of April 17.
“CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death,” the warning states. “In light of multiple reports of children becoming entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller of the product, CPSC urges consumers with children at home to stop using the product immediately.”
The commission also said it believes that at least one incident occurred while a parent was running on the treadmill, and shared a video of an unsupervised child being sucked under the machine. The child was eventually able to dislodge himself and walk way.
Albright’s complaint says Peloton has defied the CPSC warning and continues to claim that its device is safe, “despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.”
The luxury brand sells its treadmills for $4,295.00, and charges $39 for a monthly subscription to its on-demand fitness classes.
While Peloton did not respond to an email seeking comment about the case, it issued a press release pushing back against the CPSC’s warning last week, calling it “inaccurate and misleading.” The company also said its chief executive John Foley offered to meet with the commission and make a joint statement.
“Peloton is disappointed that, despite its offers of collaboration, and despite the fact that the Tread+ complies with all applicable safety standards, CPSC was unwilling to engage in any meaningful discussions with Peloton before issuing its inaccurate and misleading press release,” Peloton said.
The company acknowledged that a child did die because of its Tread+ machine and that another had suffered a brain injury from which it is expected to recover. Peloton also said it notified the CPSC “within a day” of learning of the child’s death.
Albright’s lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction blocking Peloton from continuing to market its Tread+ machine as safe, and seeks an unspecified amount in damages on behalf of a nationwide class.
Albright is represented by John Parker with the Sacramento firm Cutter Law P.C.
“We agree with the CPSC that the Peloton treadmill cannot be safely used in any home with children or pets. Accordingly, we believe that Peloton should provide a complete refund to anyone who purchased the device,” Parker said in an email. “Clearly, Peloton needs to revise its warnings and marketing of the device, and specifically warn consumers, consistent with the CPSC’s warning, that these treadmills should not be used at all in homes with children or pets.”