Peloton has been riding high for the past year as gyms closed and people took their fitness routines into their homes. Peloton stock and sales are at an all-time high. To be clear though, high sales volume has given the company problems with supply chain and manufacturing during this time period. It even has a recall due to problems with broken pedals on its bikes which caused injuries.
However, a more recent and critical problem for Peloton has been a number of cases of injury to adults, children, or pets being pulled underneath the rear of the treadmill. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been at least 72 reports of adults, children, and pets being pulled under the treadmill, including 29 reports of injuries to children and one death of a six-year-old child. Serious issues indeed.
The recall notice was issued by Peloton, but only after an urgent warning from the CPSC that forced the company to change its initial stance about the problems. Peloton is now offering a full refund for owners of the treadmill.
What should companies due about hazards to consumers?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the components of public relations and crisis communications.
- Show video about the problem: https://youtu.be/RiAjg4RXLMQ
- View Peloton’s statement on its website: https://www.onepeloton.com/press/articles/tread-and-tread-recall
- Show the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice for Peloton: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2021/peloton-recalls-tread-plus-treadmills-after-one-child-died-and-more-than-70-incidents
- Show additional recall notice for a separate Peloton recall: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2021/peloton-recalls-tread-treadmills-due-to-risk-of-injury
- What are the basic components and steps to handle crisis communications?
- How did Peloton initially handle the problems? What did they later do?
- Divide students into teams and have each team select a company/product. Then, have teams determine the steps to take during a crisis for that company.
Source: CBS; CNBC; New York Times; other news sources