Bowflex Machines Recall

Medical Authors and Editors: Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D. and Frederick Hecht, M.D.

Jan. 30, 2004 -- About 420,000 Bowflex fitness machines are being recalled. The recalled fitness machines are the Bowflex Power Pro XL, XTL and XTLU systems with the "Lat Tower" attachment sold from 1995 through 2003. The name "Bowflex" and the model name are printed on the front of the machine.

Reasons for the recall

The current recall is designed to address two significant safety issues:
  • First, while being used in the incline position, the machine's backboard bench can unexpectedly collapse and break.
  • Second, the "Lat Tower," can rotate forward and fall during use.

What to do

Consumers are asked to stop using the backboard bench in the incline position and the "Lat Tower" on the fitness machines immediately and contact Nautilus Direct (which makes Bowflex) toll-free at (888) 424-3020 anytime to receive a free repair kit that will address both issues.

Reports of injuries

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), "Nautilus Direct and CPSC have received at least 70 reports of the backboard benches breaking, resulting in at least 59 back, neck and shoulder injuries." And "Nautilus Direct has received at least 18 reports of the "Lat Tower" rotating forward and falling, resulting in at least 14 back, neck, shoulder, teeth, nose and head injuries, some of which required stitches."

A comment or two

We are personally interested in this matter because Bob, a retired mortagage banker who lives next-door to us, works out on his Bowflex faithfully three times every week. We hope his machine is safe and does not collapse or come crashing down on him.

Incidentally, we wonder why it took "at least" 88 reports of machine failure before this recall was announced? Does it take "at least" 73 reports of injuries to trigger a recall? Who has been sitting on these reports until now -- the CPSC or Nautilus Direct or both?

Related Link: Recall Product Center


Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2004