Victim of Its Own Success? Trifecta of Product Liability Trouble Befalls Peloton

FJA Journal

October 13, 2021

As product liability lawyers, we know that one of the goals of every product company should be the safety of its users. Many companies take significant measures to ensure they follow this objective in terms of product design, manufacturing, and notification compliance. Occasionally a company may fall short of design standards and safety measures and/or fails to make it right.

Peloton saw significant growth and success during the COVID-19 pandemic. New work and lifestyle demands have necessitated the adoption of different methods of exercise and stress relief, including the creation of in-home gyms outfitted with Peloton bikes and treadmills. Unfortunately for Peloton, they have also realized that a rise in popularity and product demand can lead to a rise in consumer safety concerns. Since October 2020, Peloton has faced three Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) product recalls for three separate products based on three different types of product liability claims.

As the below three recalls show, Peloton has scored a product liability trifecta.

Manufacturing Defect

In Florida, under strict liability, a product is “unreasonably dangerous because of a manufacturing defect if it is different from its intended design and fails to perform as safely as the intended design would have performed.”1 It appears Peloton’s manufacturing is missing the mark.

In October 2020, the CPSC issued a recall on the PR70P Clip-In Pedals fitted on Peloton bikes (sold between July 2013 and May 2016).2 The CPSC received more than 120 consumer reports of pedal breakages, including 16 reports of leg injuries. Five of those injuries required medical care, such as stitches to the lower leg.

This recall was for approximately 27,000 bikes (54,000 pedals). According to Healthline and Reddit, the complaints go back five months to early 2020, when users describe that the pedal “snapped clean off from the arm while I was standing up riding.” The same user posted a photo, demonstrating that the break occurred where the pedal spindle joins the crankset.

Read Victim of Its Own Success? Trifecta of Product Liability Trouble Befalls Peloton.