Sportcraft recalls 12,000 treadmills due to unexpected speed-up

Announcing its second treadmill recall in not much more than a year, Sportcraft in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall for 12,000 treadmills because of dozens of reports of unexpected acceleration.
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Announcing its second treadmill recall in not much more than a year, Sportcraft in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall for 12,000 treadmills because of dozens of reports of unexpected acceleration.

The action, voluntarily done with Sportcraft and announced July 28 by the CPSC, involves the Tredex 6.0, TX 440 and TX 550 treadmills, sold between December 2002 and April 2005 at discount department and other retail stores nationwide, costing from $350 to $600.

According to the CPSC release, the treadmills, which were manufactured in China and Taiwan, "can unexpectedly accelerate and cause users to fall and sustain injuries." It added that Sportcraft has received 110 reports of unexpected acceleration, 14 of which resulted in minor injuries, including sprains and bruises.

A Sportcraft source said a couple of reports started filtering to the company in late 2004 and that the issue seemed to be one of wear. Sportcraft began selling treadmills in fall 2001. Although not specifying how old these currently recalled were, the source said all of them were "older" since current models have a different power circuit. The treadmills apparently go into runaway speed for about five seconds before they automatically shutdown.

"It seems to be a wear issue over time," the source said. "It doesn't seem to affect most of the units or other units."

Sportcraft was also hit by a recall in June 2004 (See SNEWS® story, June 14, 2004, "Sportcraft recalls Tredex treadmills sold at Dick's") that pulled back 320 Tredex 10.0 treadmills because they also could overheat and unexpectedly accelerate. The Sportcraft source said the recalls will not affect the company's 4-year-old treadmill program.

"The program is intact and moving forward," the company source said.

Sportcraft is not the first to have treadmills that go into runaway: The CPSC publicized a Life Fitness treadmill recall for reasons of unexpected acceleration in October 2003 only after SNEWS® was made aware of the information and pushed the government agency for the announcement. That affected 2,800 high-end retail units, including models now known as 91Ti, 90T and the T9i. In November 2004, Horizon Fitness was slapped with a $500,000 fine by the CPSC for allegedly not acting quickly enough on a treadmill problem of unexpected acceleration for which a recall had been issued in April 2002.

The CPSC has told consumers to stop using the treadmill and contact Sportcraft for a refund or a replacement at 800-526-0244. The company's website (www.sportcraft.com) features a prominent link to CPSC information at the top of the home page.

To see the CPSC statement and a picture of the treadmill, click here.

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