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NordicTrack and ProForm Exercise Machines Stop Working

Sep 10, 2023

Many users say an update to the iFit platform seems to have disabled the consoles on their treadmills and exercise bikes, making the machines inoperable

Thousands of NordicTrack and ProForm treadmills and exercise bikes use the iFit fitness platform. Through this platform, users can subscribe to iFit's monthly service, which connects to the internet to offer a variety of virtual exercise classes and trainer-led workouts. But starting in late 2022 and continuing into this year, a number of owners of such machines have tried to use them and found that the touchscreen consoles were suddenly inoperable or "bricked," displaying just a white or black screen.

On many of these models, you need to use the touchscreen to initiate a workout, whether or not you’re planning on doing an online class. This means that if the console does not work, it's generally impossible for users to run or cycle on their machines, even if motors and other parts are functioning just fine.

"In our iFit app I can see that the last treadmill workout we did was on January 9th," says Drew McGovern, a Minnesota resident who has owned a NordicTrack Commercial 2450 treadmill since late 2019. The next day, the console wouldn't display anything more than a blank screen, making it impossible to use the machine.

Similar problems appear to be at least fairly widespread, based on user reports online and complaints submitted to the Better Business Bureau. The company has acknowledged that it is aware of a rise in consumer complaints. "In late 2022/early 2023, we received increased calls to Customer Care related to NordicTrack and ProForm machines with built-in touchscreens," an iFit spokesperson tells CR.

Many users attribute the issue to an iFit software release. McGovern says that his family often leaves the treadmill on so it can do necessary updates when they aren't working out. They started doing that after powering on the machine to exercise a few times and seeing that there was an update waiting to install.

Tony Sanches, of Massachusetts, says that he’d been getting into a more consistent running routine in 2022, especially around the holidays. He let his NordicTrack Commercial 1750—also purchased in 2019—go ahead with a software update sometime after Christmas. Immediately afterward, he saw what he describes as the "black screen of death."

"You spend $2,400 on this—the update just destroyed it," Sanches says. He says he's trying to run outside but finds the weather in Massachusetts is not always conducive to outdoor running.

This issue is just one example of a much larger problem for consumers. Internet-connected products regularly receive updates to fix bugs, patch security issues, and improve performance. But those over-the-air updates come with risks too, since a faulty update can create new problems.

"When people purchase connected devices, they’re entitled to expect that they’ll be supported for a reasonable period of time," says Justin Brookman, director of technology policy for Consumer Reports. "This is going to be more and more of an issue over time as all of our devices are connected to the internet and reliant upon the manufacturer for continued functionality and security support."

The iFit spokesperson did not answer questions about how many machines may have been affected by this issue or about how many reports the company has received.

But complaints are easy to find in Twitter replies to iFit, Facebook comments, Reddit threads, and more. Many complaints with responses from the company are displayed on the Better Business Bureau's iFit page. Some responses from the company describe this issue as widespread, with company representatives noting that consoles are back-ordered and there is no current ETA for console restock. In the month after this story was first published, more than 80 readers shared information with CR about their problems with treadmills, bikes, and other exercise machines with consoles that use the iFit platform—with most describing the same sort of bricked console preventing a workout from being initiated (more from those readers’ responses below).

McGovern, Sanches, and others dealing with the same issue have been told the same thing by iFit customer representatives, in responses reviewed by CR.

The issue has not affected any of the treadmills that Consumer Reports currently has in our treadmill testing lab. But the machines currently in our lab are very new and have the latest software, so they may not be affected by the issue, says John Galeotafiore, who oversees CR's treadmill testing. (CR currently recommends some ProForm and NordicTrack treadmills that use iFit.)

A class action lawsuit has been filed on the behalf of certain users against iFit. According to the complaint, of the users named in the potential suit, one was told they were being sent a new console, two have been unable to get customer service representatives on the phone, one was told that the problem was related to the console tablet and would cost $425 to fix, and another was told that they would have to pay $455 for a new console, since their machine was out of warranty.

Users experiencing this issue should visit for help, according to iFit's spokesperson.

In response to a question about whether or not the issue has been resolved, the spokesperson said: "Our tech team immediately started a deep dive to identify and diagnose the touchscreen problem and subsequently created a software update to address the majority of the issues." But for many people with a broken machine, this does not appear to have fixed things.

Some consumers say that getting in touch with iFit or treadmill company support has been an ordeal. At least some of those who have gotten in touch have been told to do a pinhole reset on their machines. But while this works for some people, it does not appear to always solve the problem, according to consumers CR spoke with and other accounts online.

In many cases, people who have gotten in touch with iFit have been told they need a new console.

What's not clear yet is how often users are being asked to pay for the fix. McGovern says that the customer service representative he spoke with had already told him they’d replace his console for no charge before discovering that his machine was still under warranty. Sanches says his machine was no longer under warranty but that customer service still told him the company would be sending him a new console with no charge, though the backorder status means no one knows how long these will take to arrive.

However, in responses to some complaints filed through the Better Business Bureau, company representatives have told users that they may need to pay for a new console or for the labor of installing the console if their warranty is expired.

CR asked iFit directly if consumers with expired warranties were being asked to pay for new consoles even if the problem was caused by iFit's software update. In response, the spokesperson said: "If a machine is under warranty, the necessary part will be repaired or replaced. The Customer Care team will continue to troubleshoot this issue with impacted customers on a case-by-case basis."

Under consumer protection laws, devices need to work as reasonably expected, says CR's Brookman. "If people paid hundreds or thousands of dollars recently for a device that suddenly stopped working as expected, the company needs to make them whole or they’re inviting an enforcement action from the FTC or a state attorney general," he says.

Have you experienced a problem with an exercise machine that uses iFit? Submit this form to tell us about it.

Within one month of this article's initial publication, more than 80 readers shared their stories with CR, with most describing similar issues with their treadmills or exercise bikes.

One wrote: "My treadmill did exactly as your article says. I reached out to iFit and had to pay $200 for someone to look at it. They ordered a part for me and tried to get me to buy a service agreement for them to replace my console. The technician told me how to do it while at my house and I will do it myself. It's been 2 months since then and if I look at the confirmation email I received concerning my part it says ’in progress.’"

Others said they’d tried the pinhole factory reset with no luck: "Today there is a black screen, unable to reset by any means and the treadmill is not working."

And in many cases, readers said that trying to get customer service to address these issues has been a difficult or fruitless process—some said that after hours of waiting on hold or multiple disconnects, they’d been unable to find any resolution. Others eventually got in touch with someone, but still don't know when console replacements for their bricked NordicTrack or ProForm iFit will arrive.

"Their call centers—once you spend days trying to get through to them—give incorrect advice about needing to pay for a technician to diagnose the machine, and once you finally get a resolution, there are no updates on potential shipping windows for the new console. Mine has simply said "backordered" for months," said one reader.

One reader even said that they received a new console that wasn't functional. "I had to complete another video appointment to show it does not work and they only said it will be another 2-3 weeks before a new would ship. We have not had a working treadmill for almost 4 months now," they wrote.

One piece of good news: In early April, about a month after this story was first published, Drew McGovern received an alert from UPS saying his new console should arrive by April 11—more than three months after his treadmill stopped working. On April 12, it arrived, though without instructions for installation. McGovern told CR he managed to install it after removing 30 screws as well as the front and back of the console. He confirmed that it works and he can now use iFit again.

Still, in many cases, readers aren't convinced that resolution is coming anytime soon. One simply wrote: "My treadmill is now a very expensive spider resort!"

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include more information from iFit users.

Kevin Loria

Kevin Loria is a senior reporter covering health and science at Consumer Reports. He has been with CR since 2018, covering environmental health, food safety, infectious disease, fitness, and more. Previously, Kevin was a correspondent covering health, science, and the environment at Business Insider. Kevin lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and children. Follow him on Twitter @kevloria.

Some NordicTrack and ProForm Exercise Machines Have Suddenly Stopped Working Editor's Note: