IKEA, favorite inexpensive furniture company of the masses, just issued some unsettling news. They are recalling nearly 36 million MALM dressers and chests after six fatalities. They are offering either refunds or repair kits so families can anchor their furniture to walls.
The recall includes six MALM models manufactured between 2002 and 2016. In 2014, a 2-year-old in Pennsylvania and a 23-month-old in Washington died after MALM chests fell on them. After IKEA’s repair program announcement in 2015, another 22-month-old in Minnesota perished when a MALM chest fell on him. None of those chests had been attached to walls. Between 1989 and 2007, IKEA received 41 reports of items that weren’t MALMs falling on people. Out of those 41 incidents, 19 children were hurt and three died.
The furniture giant maintains if secured to walls, the items shouldn’t harm people. IKEA spokesperson Kajsa Johansson said, “When attached to a wall the products are safe. We have had no other issues with that in any other country.”
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provided a statement and demonstration showing how the products, if unanchored, can hurt young children. Chairman Elliott Kaye said, “It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children.” He also said furniture falling on children results in around one death “every two weeks.”
Those owning affected models can bring them back to IKEA, or, according to Kaye, IKEA will provide pickup service for consumer’s without transportation. Furniture owners can also ask for a repair kit to secure MALM pieces, as well and certain STOCKHOM, BUSUNGE, NORDLI, or STUVA products.