Body-Solid has recalled about 700 of four models of its Endurance treadmills in which static build-up was found to cause unexpected changes in speed, including acceleration and stops.
The company, which contacted the Consumer Product Safety Commission in late spring 2005 about reports it had begun to receive, is conducting the voluntary recall in cooperation with the CPSC.
"We contacted the CPSC as soon as we became aware of the trend," Co-CEO Scott McDonald told SNEWS®. "We felt we wanted to be safe, rather than sorry."
The treadmills affected, sold between September 2004 and April 2005, are the T7, T7.1, T8 and T9.1. Most were updated, with those models being discontinued, McDonald said, except the T8, in which the problem was fixed and the company then sold remaining stock.
He said the problem was from naturally occurring static electricity build-up in a user, especially in cooler or drier climates. When users step onto the treadmills and touch the console, they are normally immediately grounded through a thin filament net structure just under the overlay, dissipating the static. However, in these models, apparently the net that tested satisfactory under UL Laboratory protocol didn't dissipate enough of the static, McDonald explained. That meant when the user started the treadmill, it could then suddenly stop or suddenly accelerate. About five of the nine reports named sudden stops, he added.
"Instead of the static going safely away," he said, "it interfered with the brain of the treadmill."
No injuries were reported although a user could lose control and fall, according to the CPSC release.
The treadmills, sold at specialty stores for between $2,000 and $2,500, were made in Taiwan by Joong Chen Industries.
Click here to see the CPSC information and a picture.