Safety regulators in the US have urged people who own a treadmill by Peloton to stop using the product "immediately" if they have children or pets at home.
The "urgent" warning comes after reports of 39 incidents of small children and a pet being injured beneath the Peloton Tread+. This includes one child's death.
"CPSC staff believes the Peloton Tread+ poses serious risks to children for abrasions, fractures, and death," read a statement by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The regulatory body said that it had received reports of children becoming "entrapped, pinned and pulled under the rear roller of the product".
The commission also posted a video on its YouTube page showing a child getting trapped under the product. The child comes out of the machine seemingly unharmed, but the video comes with a warning that it may be disturbing to some viewers.
Peloton responded to the warning with a statement of its own, saying the CPSC's press release was "inaccurate and misleading".
It says there is "no reason" to stop using the machine, which costs more than $4,000, "as long as all warnings and safety instructions are followed".
It says children under 16 should never use it, that customers must keep children, pets and objects away from it "at all times" and it should remain turned off while not in use, with the safety key removed.
The CPSC, however, notes that at least one incident happened when a parent was running on the treadmill, "suggesting that the hazard cannot be avoided simply by locking the device when not in use".
In response to this, Peloton shared tips from its members on how they've kept children safe during home workouts. "They schedule workouts during nap time or at night when children are asleep. Or they have a spouse or partner watch the children in another room. Some tell the company they use a baby gate to keep children, pets, and objects away from their fitness equipment."
The $34 billion US company, which is famous for its indoor exercise bikes and online classes, introduced its treadmill about three years ago and sales of its equipment soared during the pandemic as people turned away from gyms and to at-home workouts.
It was reported that the company brought in $1bn in revenue within the last three months of 2020, more than double its year-on-year revenue during the same period.