FreeMotion Fitness has voluntarily recalled about 5,600 FreeMotion Cable Cross and Dual Cable Cross exercise machines after discovering the weighted arms could suddenly drop and hit users. The company worked several months to determine why.
Working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, FreeMotion Fitness explained to SNEWS® that, if not exactingly engaged, the selector pin for the machine's arms could slip out of the hole that was selected to hold the arm at a particular height, allowing it to drop down one notch before again engaging. The company received nine reports of injuries since the reports began filtering in over the last two years.
According to CEO Patrick Hald, who noted the CPSC statement released Oct. 3 didn't explain the malfunction properly, there were two reasons for the failure of the arm to hold: One, the pin had curved edges and, two, the pin's selector hole had a flair (called a "chamfer"). Together, that design meant that the curved edges of the pin would sometimes rest on the chamfer, not engaging fully. When heavier weights were used, the pin would slip out. If the user were doing tricep presses, for example, and was standing close to the arm, the weighted arm could fall down and hit the exerciser. The injury reports included contusions to the head and shoulders from the sudden drop of the weighted arm.
Hald said FreeMotion initially thought there could be user error involved in the incidents, but decided to go to the CPSC about the problem.
"We took this to the CPSC because we wanted to be above board," Hald said. "We spent many hours trying to duplicate what was happening."
It is the company's first recall. Hald said he had no idea why these reports started coming in after the machine had been on the market for several years.
The company started fixing the problem about three months ago, sending a parts kit and a service person to each customer, whether the location was a home, club or other facility. In addition, the equipment has been redesigned to eliminate the chamfer and square off the pin. Also, a section of the pin's stem is painted bright red, with a warning label noting that if any red is showing, the pin has not been fully engaged.
The recall includes FreeMotion Cable Cross and Dual Cable Cross exercise machines with model numbers GZFM6006 and GZFM6024. The U.S.-made recalled machines can be identified by the name Cable Cross located on the upper frame. The machines were sold by fitness specialty stores nationwide and through direct sales from FreeMotion from December 1999 through May 2006 for between $3,750 and $4,500.
To see this recall on CPSC's website, including pictures of the recalled products, click here. To read FreeMotion's instructions, click here and then on the company profile to download the "Repair Instructions."