Peloton CEO speaks out after popular treadmill recalled due to injuries

John Foley discusses the fitness company’s decision to pull all of its Tread and Tread+ devices after more than 72 reports of accidents.
6:36 | 05/07/21

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Transcript for Peloton CEO speaks out after popular treadmill recalled due to injuries
We continue with an ABC news exclusive. Peloton's CEO John Foley is joining us live to talk about the recall of all its treadmills after more than 72 reports of accidents including the tragic death of a child. Some saying it's too little too late and despite those accidents an alarming video like this, one of a 2-year-old who was thankfully okay after getting dragged under a machine. Peloton rejected a call to pull its exercise machines two months ago and joining now in his first interview is peloton CEO John Foley and, Mr. Foley, thank you so much for joining us this morning. As we mentioned you are recalling more than 125,000 treadmills. You released a statement Wednesday apologizing for the delay, but why did you decide to do it now? Yeah, thanks for having me, Michael. I have to say by far the most important thing to us at peloton is the safety of our members. It always has been. And subsequently we did make a mistake by not engaging with the consumer product safety commission in a more productive dialogue earlier in the process but this week with this recall, we're stating on equivocally not only are we going to be the innovators in this new connected fitness category, but we're also going to be leaders and we have a responsibility and obligation to be leaders in product safety and indoor fitness equipment category and absolutely going to do that. One lawmaker called this dangerously delayed. We've seen reports of injuries nearly doubled in the last two weeks. Why didn't you recall the treadmills right away after that initial warning came out in March? Well, right away when I found out about a child's death, we've had one child's death and it was tragic and horrible and our heart went out to that family right away I mailed every one of our tread members and said, treadmills in the home have to be used safely so we've been trying to be communicative and transparent with our members, we've been always have about everything. That's the way we operate at peloton. We care deeply about our members and members' safety but did make a mistake by not engaging with the cpsc in a more productive dialogue and that's what you saw this week is -- was part of our recall. Yeah, because less than three weeks ago you were doubling down even after that federal safety agency report stated they were aware of almost 40 accidents involving your machine including that one child's death. You called the report inaccurate and misleading. So how do you feel about that statement now? Well, when we brought the tread and the tread plus product to market it met every existing safety standard in Europe and the U.S. We made sure that they were safe products. When used properly they're incredibly safe products. Through working with the cpsc, what we're doing is saying we can add additional safety features whether soft ware or hardware features that can make them even safer, industry leading safe so that even when used improperly children don't get hurt. That's obviously a priority for families and priority for us. I can't tell you how deeply we care about our members and their safety and that's why we did this recall this week. And are you worried about legal action against your company? Well, there is. I mean, there is a public securities lawsuit and I think there's a class action lawsuit brewing so it's something that absolutely we're ready for. It's part of the process and we're going to have to deal with that. Have you had a chance to speak with any of the families of the child who died or of those who were hurt? Well, my instinct, of course, as a father myself was to reach out to that family immediately. I asked my team if we could. That family at the time wasn't ready to speak. They appreciated my outreach but I have not connected with them although I would love to. That's obviously something I would want to do and, again, we just care so deeply about everyone in our family and our extended family and we treat our members like our own family and it's so this -- their safety is the highest priority for us. Is there anything you would like to say to those families now? Absolutely, I mean our heart goes out to any child hurt and the one tragic death, it's unthinkable. I think was my word in my email to the community. Interestingly, Michael, before I put the death on the radar of all of our members, I asked -- we asked that family would it be okay if we say that this took place and they said, yes, they gave us the green light to talk about it so we've been trying to be on the right foot with the impacted families and with all of our members, we have an incredible responsibility and an obligation to the safety of people who bring peloton in their home and we aren't shirking from that responsibility and we are 100% committed to the safety and I mean, we are a health and wellness company. We are all about your health and happiness. That's what we wake up in the morning, we have thousands of people around the world that wake up thinking about our members' health and wellness and safety is number one I that list of what we think about. So what would you like to tell anyone who has one of these in their homes right now? Well, as part of this week's news through working with the consumer product safety commission for all of the treads in the uk and Canada and the U.S., we're saying not only is encouraging to stop use but bringing new safety feature, again, software and in some cases hardware up to and including in the next couple days we're releasing what is called and over the air software update where we're adding an additional safety feature to the tread plus, you won't be able to start it unless you enter a key code like your phone so your 2 or 3-year-old can't reach up there and start the treadmill so the treadmill won't even start unless you enter the key code. So that's one safety feature but working on a whole suite of them that we're working on today and get them in front of the consumer product safety commission, make sure they're comfortable with them and then we'll roll them out to our members in the coming weeks and month. A lot waiting for those, Mr. Foley, thank you so much for joining me this morning. Thank you, Michael. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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