Life Fitness tread recall public after SNEWS pushes CPSC

A treadmill recall announced in September by Life Fitness was posted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website on Oct. 16 -- back-dated to Sept. 3 by the CPSC -- after SNEWS investigated the recall rumors and pushed the government agency for information.
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A treadmill recall announced in September by Life Fitness was posted to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website on Oct. 16 -- back-dated to Sept. 3 by the CPSC -- after SNEWS investigated the recall rumors and pushed the government agency for information.

According to the CPSC (www.cpsc.gov), Life Fitness has recalled 2,800 of three high-end retail and entry-level commercial treadmills because they can "unexpectedly accelerate, possibly causing the user to lose control and fall." The company has received seven reports of unexpected acceleration, the CPSC announcement said. Life Fitness said the first report came to them from a dealer in January 2003, and no injuries have been reported.

"We resolved the software issue by March and were proactive in contacting all those possibly affected by March as well," a Life Fitness spokeswoman said. "From February to September, we worked very closely with the CPSC to keep them up to date on our actions to correct the issue.

"Although we identified and resolved the issue in March," the spokeswoman said, "and no new cases were reported, the CPSC felt there was a risk involved and issued the alert."

The models involved include the 9000HR (serial numbers CTB100000-CTB101618), now known as the 91Ti; and the 8500 (serial numbers MTB100000-MTB100646), now know as 90T; and the 9i (serial numbers CTI100000-CTI100746), now known as the T9i. Life Fitness said no problems were reported with the T9i home unit, but since it is built on the same platform, the company included it in the recall as a caution. The acceleration problem was caused by a software glitch.

The treadmills were sold at specialty fitness equipment retailers nationwide from August 2002 to April 2003 for about $4,500 to $5,000. Dealers were contacted by Life Fitness as are all registered owners to schedule on-site repairs at no cost.

Life Fitness had told SNEWS it contacted the CPSC in late winter to initiate a recall, and the bulletin on its website (www.lifefitness.com/commercial/bul_safety.asp) states the recall is in cooperation with the CPSC. But the CPSC said it knew nothing about it – until pushed to check and double-check by SNEWS.

"Frankly, this is our fault," CPSC spokesman Ken Giles told SNEWS about the delay. "Apparently, the clearance process was finished September 3 and the posting was unintentionally delayed until October 16. Sorry."

Click here to read the CPSC announcement.

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