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Collapsing Bench, Falling 'Lat Tower' Cause Injuries

Jan. 30, 2004 -- A number of injury reports have prompted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to caution people about the safety hazards linked to Bowflex Power Pro fitness machines.

In response, device maker Nautilus Direct has issued a voluntary recall on the Bowflex Power Pro XL, XTL, and XTLU systems. The machines in question (made in China, Taiwan, and the U.S.) were sold through infomercials and retail stores from January 1995 through December 2003.

The commission says the machines have two potentially dangerous flaws:

  • The backboard benches -- when used in the incline position -- can break. There have been at least 70 reports of benches breaking, resulting in 59 back, neck, and shoulder injuries.
  • There are reports that the "Lat Tower" attachment turns forward and falls. This has happened at least 18 times, resulting in injury to the back, neck, shoulder, teeth, nose, and head. Some injured people needed stitches to close their wounds.

People who own these machines should stop using the benches in the incline position, and stop using the Lat Tower.

The manufacturer offers a free repair or replacement kit. Owners of these machines may visit the Bowflex web site, or call the manufacturer at (888) 424-3020.

Nautilus is contacting known device owners by direct mail.

SOURCE: News release, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Division. Bowflex web site.

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