IKEA has announced a recall on many of its popular chests and dressers after three children were crushed to death by furniture that tipped over. The Swedish retailer will also halt production and discontinue some of the models that are prone to tipping. When not anchored securely to a wall, certain models of dressers become front heavy when upper drawers are opened, or when all of the drawers are open. These pieces of furniture can also easily topple if a child attempts to climb up the dresser, which is the case with heavy furniture sold by many other brands as well, serving as a strong reminder to parents to secure these objects.
IKEA’s new recall is voluntary, which means the company is not being forced by a government agency to act, but has instead decided to take action for consumer safety. This news comes nearly two years after the company issued ‘repair kits’ for the dressers, which contained hardware to anchor the dresser to a wall. That decision was made after two toddlers died in dresser-related crushing accidents. A third toddler, whose parents were unaware of the recall, was killed seven months later. The children ranged in age from 22 months to two years old.
Following legal action from the families, and an in-depth review by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, IKEA’s wall anchor kits were determined to be an insufficient solution to the problem. The Swedish company admits the dressers are unsafe if not anchored to a wall, and IKEA’s U.S. president Lars Petersson said, if they are not anchored, “please take them out of a room that children can access because it could be a danger.”
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IKEA’s new recall will continue to provide the wall anchoring repair kits, but the retailer is also offering a full or partial refund to customers who wish to return the furniture. The recall impacts around 29 million units sold, and applies to children’s dressers taller than 23.5 inches, as well as adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches. IKEA has removed the affected Malm line of dressers from its website, but the units were on sale until this month, as were a number of other chests and dressers that may present a tipping hazard.
Images via IKEA