Partner Jonathan Judge was quoted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) warning to Peloton Tread+ owners not to use the product around small children or pets after reports of dozens of injuries and a child’s death caused by the treadmill.
Jonathan said that the CPSC report cited an “eyebrow-raising number” of adults, children, pets, or other objects being pulled under the Tread+.
“If you deal with CPSC and with children’s products, when there is a child’s death involved, they take those extraordinarily seriously and are extremely unlikely to just let it go. And they’re also extremely unlikely to accept that putting better warnings on it is good enough when, as they pointed out, other treadmills don’t have this problem,” he said.
Two days after the recall was announced, the Peloton CEO admitted the company made a mistake in its first statement questioning the accuracy of the CPSC warning.
Jonathan said that the CEO’s multiple statements may present a larger problem for the company.
“The bigger concern is the CEO is out there giving all these statements,” he said. “To have the CEO, on top of that, come out and say you’re not going to do anything, and then personally admit they were wrong a few weeks later, is utterly bizarre. It’s the worst of both worlds.”
However, Jonathan noted that Peloton seems to be prepared for potential claims and litigation that may result from the recalls.
“They seem to have taken the right steps at this point to inoculate themselves against what they know about,” he said. “But if more things pop up in the future, which is a likelihood, it’s more difficult to protect against product liability claims.”
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