Ikea Recalls 29 Million Chests and Dressers Following Six Children’s Deaths

Swedish retailer Ikea revealed that it will recall roughly 29 million chests and dressers that have a tendency to tip over in response to the deaths of six children and more than two dozen injuries.

Ikea announced the recall on its web site and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posted the recall on June 28, 2016. Ikea said the recalled chests and dressers “are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children,” Law360 reports.
About 8 million MALM chests and dressers are being recalled, along with another 21 million children’s and adults’ chests and dressers, according to the CPSC. Approximately 6.6 million of the affected chests were sold in Canada.

The recalled children’s dressers are taller than 23.5 inches, the adult dressers are taller than 29.5 inches, and the models have from three to six drawers, the agency said. CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye urged parents to act immediately, “If you have or think you have one of these products, act immediately.” Kaye said, “It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children.”

The CPSC said consumers should move any unanchored chests or dressers into storage or into an area where children cannot reach them, until they can be properly anchored to the wall or removed from the home.

In July 2015, IKEA launched a repair program that included a free wall-anchoring repair kit for numerous models of chests and dressers. The program came about because of the deaths of two toddlers in 2014. Then in February 2016, a 22-month-old boy was killed in Minnesota when a six-drawer MALM unit fell on top of him, the CPSC said. None of the chests or dressers involved in those incidents had been anchored to the wall, Law360 reports. In addition to the three deaths, IKEA has received reports of 41 tip-over incidents involving MALM dressers. These resulted in 17 injuries to children from 19 months to 10 years of age, the CPSC said. Three other children died, in 1989, 2002, and 2007, after being pinned by a toppled Ikea dresser.

The 29 million chests and dressers in the recall “do not meet the performance requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard,” according to Ikea’s website.

In an email, an Ikea spokesperson told Law360 that last year’s program resulted in the distribution of 300,000 anchor kits to consumers, but after the death of the child in February “it is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers homes, and we believe taking further action is the right thing to do.”

Consumers are entitled to a full refund for any affected dresser or chest made between January 2002 and June 2016, and anyone with an affected model made before 2002 can receive partial store credit, Ikea said. Consumers can order a free wall-anchoring kit, which they can install themselves, or Ikea will provide onetime free installation, according to Ikea’s news release.

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