rust and corrosion were hidden on the exercise bikes by Peloton

Last year, Peloton devised a secret scheme to hide evidence of rust and corrosion on exercise bikes before sending them to consumers, dubbed “Project Tinman” internally.

Workers at Peloton warehouses discovered flaking paint jobs on some exercise bikes manufactured overseas, prompting company executives to enact the plan in September, according to reports. Peloton management were prompted to offer instructions to warehouse staff on how to cure signs of rust so that the bikes, which cost up to $2,495, could be delivered.

“Project Tinman” comprised “normal operating procedures” in which impacted motorcycles were treated with a chemical solution called “rust converter” to hide traces of corrosion, according to internal documents obtained by the Financial Times.

According to the source, an internal paper stated, “It is acceptable if you see some rust through the black coating because the severity of this rust is lessened utilising the rust converter.”

The rusting issue, according to Peloton, affected internal components of some bikes.
Getty Images via Bloomberg

Peloton insiders who talked to the publication expressed their displeasure with the strategy, claiming that the company has abandoned its own quality control standards in order to fulfil “unrealistic” sales targets.

One Peloton insider told the Financial Times, “It was the single driving element in my initial stages of disdain for the firm that I had spent the previous year and a half falling in love with.”

Peloton’s internal procedures under “Project Tinman” reportedly said that bikes showing symptoms of rust should not be sold to the general public unless they met certain criteria. However, warehouse workers who worked with motorcycles report that the requirement was frequently disregarded, and that equipment with “serious” rust was routinely sent out to customers.

“Sometimes bikes had junk on the exterior, so we couldn’t deliver them,” one current Peloton employee explained, “but… [there were] a lot of bikes that were rusted on the inside that they still sold.”

Peloton founder John Foley

Peloton founder John Foley stepped down as CEO earlier this month.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Peloton representative told the Post that during pre-delivery inspections in September 2021, an inspector at a factory in Cologne, Germany, discovered symptoms of “superficial rust” on the inner tubes of some bike components.

“Cosmetic oxidation” has happened on non-visual components of around 6,000 exercise bikes in circulation, according to the manufacturer.

According to a Peloton spokesman, “our internal testing, based on industry standards, determined the aesthetic oxidation issue would have no influence on a Bike’s performance, quality, durability, reliability, or the overall Member experience.” “We also created a regular rework process for products in inventory to fix this cosmetic issue in the aforementioned non-visible sections,” says the company.

Peloton has “not discovered evidence or heard Member complaints that this specific issue has created a problem,” according to the spokesman, and will try to handle any difficulties that occur, including possible bike replacements.

Peloton logo
Peloton has struggled with sagging demand for its products in recent months.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

During a period of turmoil at Peloton, a damaging report on the alleged sale of rusted bikes surfaced.

Demand for Peloton bikes and treadmills has fallen significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic’s early days. Due to a backlog of inventory, Peloton had to scale back production of new equipment as a result of the slowdown.

Peloton co-founder John Foley, whose leadership garnered severe criticism, announced earlier this month that he will stand down as CEO and shift to executive chairman.

At the same time, the corporation let off around 20% of its corporate staff, or 2,800 people, and shelved plans for a $400 million facility in Ohio. According to Peloton, the improvements will save $800 million each year in the long run.

New Peloton CEO Barry McCarthy claimed the job layoffs were unavoidable owing to the company’s “unsustainable” financial realities in an email to staff.

About the author

Akanksha Jain

Akanksha Jain love to learn new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for writing, she loves writing for Startup, Business sections of Editorials99.

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