Peloton’s Treadmills cost between $2,500 and $4,000. They’ve also injured 70 people and killed one child. Peloton issued a recall on the treadmills after an investigation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Those who kept the Tread+ got a nasty shock in their inbox recently: After the treadmill downloaded an update Peloton said was designed to make the device safer, users reported they could no longer run on it without paying Peloton a $39.99 per month subscription fee.
“We care deeply about the safety and well being of our Members and we created Tread Lock to secure your Tread+ against unauthorized access,” Peloton said in an email it sent to customers. “Unfortunately at this time ‘Just Runn’ is no longer accessible without a Peloton Membership.” It offered to waive the subscription fee for the first three months and apologized for the inconvenience.
Peloton’s subscription ecosystem provides users with live classes, crafted playlists, and customized tracks. For people who just want to run or bike, they can select the “Just Bike” or “Just Run” feature and use their devices like normal exercise equipment. Unless, of course, the user has updated the Tread+ to get the safety update.
After footage of children getting injured on treadmills circulated online and CPSC issued its warning, Peloton founder CEO and founder John Foley released a statement calling the warning “misleading and inaccurate.” CSPC noted that the Pelton treadmill was uniquely dangerous because of its design, noting that its height off the ground and tread design caused objects and people to more easily slide under the machine.
“We design and build all of our products with safety in mind. But in order to help ensure that you and your family members stay safe with Peloton products in your home, we need your help,” Foley said in his statement. He urged Tread+ users to make sure the space around the device was clear of pets and children and to lock the safety key up between uses. Peloton initially refused to issue a recall but relented after the CPSC issued its statement.
The new Tread Lock update adds another layer of safety to the Tread+. “Tread Lock is a safety feature that automatically locks the Peloton Tread+ after you put your Tread+ to sleep or after 45 seconds of inactivity outside of a class,” Peloton said on its website.
For now, the cost of using that new feature is, apparently, about $40 a month, though Peloton claimed it would not always be so. “Unfortunately due to current technical limitations, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership,” Peloton told Motherboard in an email. “We understand that this is an inconvenience for some and are working on updates to Tread Lock that will allow us to make Tread Lock and Just Run available without a Peloton Membership.”