Cybex Treadmill Recall, One More Woe (CYBI)

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Cybex International Inc. (NASDAQ: CYBI) has another issue to worry about besides a stalling economy and weak sales of exercise equipment ahead.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission released today that the company is subject of a product recall for roughly 19,000 treadmills.  The Cybex recall is for treadmill risks due to fall hazards where the machine can unexpectedly speed up without notice due to a malfunction with the lower control board.

The company has received 24 reports of incidents involving thetreadmill unexpectedly increasing speed, including six reports ofconsumers falling. Three of those incidents resulted in minor injuries.  This has also come at a price on its stock, and the company’s shareholders probably don’t want any more financial injury on top of product injury.

The recall involves the Cybex treadmill models 445T, 455T, 530T, 450T,500T, 515T, and 520T, which are black and gray with rectangularuprights. The 530T style treadmill is 81 inches long by 32 inches wide.The 445T style treadmill is 72 inches long by 32 inches wide. Thetreadmills have a display panel on a console as wide as the treadmill.

These models were sold at Cybex International and at Cybex dealersnationwide starting in January 2001 through September 2008 for between$5,500.00 and $7,000.00 per treadmill.

The good news here is that it does not appear that this recall requiresthe machines to be sent back in.  That would have been disastrous forthe company.  The shipping on these machines back and forth would havecome at a significant cost to the company even if it had productliability and recall insurance.  It says at the CPSC site to unplug andstop using the recalled treadmills and that consumers should contactCybex to receive a free replacement fuse. If requested, a Cybextechnician can install the fuse free of charge. Cybex is directlycontacting known purchasers.

have you ever been thrown off of a treadmill?  I have, and trust mewhen I tell you that it hurts.  Unfortunately my incident was becauseof my feet being too slow for the speed I set the machine too and I gottired and tripped before I slowed the speed down.  Even with thisrecall and the warning, that was my fault.

This news did come at a price today.  Shares were down almost 12% at$1.85 after 12:45 PM EST.  Fortunately this won’t come at too high of aprice for the company other than a PR issue that competitors will tryto use against it.

The company’s share price has traded in a range of $1.50 to $5.22 overthe last 52-weeks, but the stock has never really recouped its lossesfrom when this was a $10 to $15 stock back in the early to mid-1990’s.

Jon C. Ogg
October 29, 2008