Peloton announced owners will now have to sign up for a $39 monthly subscription to use its $4,000 treadmills.
The free “Just Run” option on the Tread+ treadmill was removed following safety concerns. Last month, in collaboration with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Peloton issued a voluntary recall for the Tread+ after a child was killed and more than 70 other incidents were reported.
When contacted by the Washington Examiner, the company said it introduced a new feature called “Tread Lock,” which requires a four-digit passcode to secure the device from unauthorized access.
“Unfortunately due to current technical limitations, Tread Lock is not yet available without a Peloton Membership,” the company said in a statement. “We have waived three months of All-Access Membership for all Tread+ owners, so those without a subscription will need to activate their free 3-month All-Access Membership to enable Tread Lock before they can access Just Run.”
Peloton said it is working on system updates that would grant access to Tread Lock and Just Run through a membership, although it has not provided a timetable for when that would launch. Owners of the Tread+ can return their treadmill for a full refund under the conditions of the voluntary recall.
Some Peloton users have threatened legal action against the company after the sudden shutdown, according to Business Insider.
“What I'm concerned about is the potential for a company to essentially brick your device if you are unable to afford or simply not interested in the content subscription anymore,” said Taylor Dondich, who owns both the Peloton bike and treadmill.
Some users took to Twitter to complain about the Just Run feature being disabled for users who don’t have memberships.
The Tread+ is similar to a regular treadmill but is outfitted with a 32-inch, high-definition touch screen and soundbar that allows instructors to coach users while working out with other members in real-time.
While details about the child's death have not been publicly released, Peloton CEO and co-founder John Foley posted a letter on the company’s website that said, “There are no words to express the shock and sadness everyone at Peloton feels as a result of this terrible tragedy.”
“While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved,” Foley wrote.
Peloton’s exercise devices became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were restricted from going to the gym for weeks, and in some cases, for months. The company’s stock hit an all-time high in December at about $162 per share. As of Tuesday, the stock value declined to about $117.
In October 2020, Peloton also issued a voluntary recall of more than 50,000 of its “Clip-In Pedals,” which pair with its exercise bike. It was found the accessories “can break unexpectedly during use, causing laceration injuries,” the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission wrote at the time.
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Original Author: Zachary Halaschak
Original Location: Owners of $4,000 Peloton treadmills must now pay $39 monthly fee to use them