Peloton Shares Slide After It Recalls Two Million Exercise Bikes

Peloton, the maker of home exercise equipment, said on Thursday that it was recalling more than two million exercise bikes, an announcement that sent its stock lower.

The company’s shares tumbled nearly 9 percent by the market close and have plunged more than 20 percent this month.

The company had received 35 reports of seat posts breaking and detaching from the original model of its bike during use, according to a recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Peloton is voluntarily recalling Model PL-01 bikes that were sold from January 2018 to May 2023 in the United States, and is offering customers replacements for the bike’s seat posts that can be installed at home, the company said in a statement on its website Thursday morning.

“For Peloton, it was important to proactively engage the C.P.S.C. to address this issue,” the company wrote. “We worked cooperatively with them to identify today’s approved remedy.”

The decision to recall the bikes is a turnabout for Peloton, which in the past has resisted recalling its equipment. In 2021, the company recalled its Tread+ and Tread treadmills after initially resisting the safety commission’s warning that the death of a child and dozens of injuries had been linked to the equipment. John Foley, the chief executive at the time, said that the company had made a mistake by fighting the request to recall the treadmills.

In 2020, Peloton recalled pedals on about 27,000 bikes after receiving more than 100 reports of them breaking and 16 reports of injuries.

Peloton has faced a raft of other challenges in recent years. After emerging as a pandemic winner in 2020, when people bought its home exercise equipment in droves, it has dealt with rocky revenues, negative television portrayals and cooling consumer demand.

Its current chief executive, Barry McCarthy, has been trying to turn the ship around since taking over last year for Mr. Foley, a founder of the company. Mr. McCarthy has cut jobs, emphasized a subscription strategy and started an equipment resale program.

In its most recent letter to shareholders, sent earlier this month, Mr. McCarthy said the company had settled an International Trade Commission dispute with Dish Network for $75 million, and that its subscriptions had grown by 5 percent in the most recent quarter.

In that letter, he struck a cautiously optimistic note, saying that the most recent quarter was the best since he took over as chief executive. “There will be challenges and opportunities ahead,” he wrote, “but if we continue to perform over the next 12 months like we performed over the past 12, we will have accomplished something truly special.”

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