Peloton Attempts Retread With New Tread
Exercise-equipment maker Peloton said this week it would relaunch its Tread treadmill that it recalled in May. The quick turnaround (to us anyway) shows the company is trying to make up for some disastrous crisis communications.
We last wrote about Peloton in April, when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned people with children or pets at home to stop using the company’s $4,300 Tread+ treadmill. About 70 accidents, including one resulting in a child’s death, were related to the product, which the CPSC called on Peloton to recall.
The company’s response was to boldly and unwisely fight the accusations, which it called “inaccurate and misleading.” That approach didn’t go over well. Less than three weeks later, it jointly announced the recall with the CPSC. “I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response,” CEO John Foley said in the statement.
The company recalled both the Tread + (pictured) and the cheaper Tread, which had problems with its touchscreen becoming detached. The former got much more attention.
On Tuesday, Peloton said it would relaunch the plain-old $2,500 Tread in the U.S., U.K. and Canada on Aug. 30 and in Germany later this fall. It will boast new features, most notably a new security measure that would require a four-digit code to unlock the product. That was previously available only to people who paid for Peloton’s subscription service.
We’ll always continue to innovate our hardware, software and safety features to live up to our commitment to member safety.
— Peloton CEO John Foley
“We’ve worked hard to make sure the new Tread truly earns its spot in members’ homes,” Peloton CEO Foley said in the press release. “We’ll always continue to innovate our hardware, software and safety features to live up to our commitment to member safety and to improving the full member experience.”
While some criticized Peloton for taking too long to relaunch the Tread, four months doesn’t seem unreasonable. One indicator of positive response: The company’s stock, which dropped on the CPSC’s April announcement, closed up almost 7 percent on Tuesday.
Much coverage noted that the product announcement didn’t include the higher-profile Tread+, but the company could address the timing of that during its earnings call today. It remains off the market.
Photo Credit: Peloton
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