WASHINGTON, D.C. - IKEA announced a recall of 29 million Malm and other dressers and chests after a third tip-over incident. In the latest, which took place in February 2016, a 22-month-old child was entrapped and died.
The accident pushed the Consumer Products Safety Commission to order IKEA to move beyond a repair kit remediation program launched in 2015. That program provided a retrofit wall anchoring kit.Now CPSC and IKEA have jointly urged customers either to anchor chests to the wall, or return dressers for a refund.
In the recall notice IKEA says the chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a serious tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children.
Philadelphia personal injury firm Feldman Shepherd says IKEA was pushed to recall dressers by lawsuits it filed on behalf of the toddlers' families, suits that allege that IKEA designed and sold dangerous and defective dressers, including the MALM dresser line, which do not meet the furniture industry's minimum safety standard for stability. The firm handled cases for three families whose children died in accidents with furniture.
Consumers are advised to " immediately stop using any recalled chest and dresser that is not properly anchored to the wall and place it into an area that children cannot access," and are offered a full refund for chests and dressers manufactured between January 2002 and June 2016. Consumers with chests and dressers manufactured prior to January 2002 are eligible for a partial store credit.
Consumers can order a free wall-anchoring repair kit. Consumers can install the kit themselves or IKEA will provide a one-time, free in-home installation service, upon request. Consumers can reorder the kits throughout the life of their chest and dresser.
About 8 million MALM chests and dressers and 21 million additional children’s and adult chests and dressers in the U.S. (In addition, 6.6 million were sold in Canada) 866-856-4532 www.IKEA-USA.com/recallchestsanddressers
IKEA established a toll-free number and a website at IKEA-USA.com/recallchestsanddressers or IKEA-USA.com and click on Product Recall for more information on how to receive a refund or free wall-anchoring repair kit. Here is the full release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with IKEA North America, of Conshohocken, Pa., is announcing the recall of all chests and dressers that do not comply with the performance requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard (ASTM F2057-14). The recalled children’s chests and dressers are taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests and dressers are taller than 29.5 inches. The 29 million units of recalled chests and dressers include: MALM 3-drawer, 4-drawer, 5-drawer and three 6-drawer models and other children’s and adult chests and dressers. The recalled chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a serious tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or serious injuries to children.
On July 22, 2015, CPSC and IKEA announced a repair program for the chests and dressers that included a free wall-anchoring repair kit for the MALM chests and dressers and other IKEA chests and dressers. Two tragic fatalities involving MALM chests and dressers occurred prior to the announcement of the repair program:
- In February 2014, a 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pa. died after a 6-drawer MALM chest tipped over and fatally pinned him against his bed.
- In June 2014, a 23-month-old boy from Snohomish, Wash. died after he became trapped beneath a 3-drawer MALM chest that tipped over.
- Subsequent to the July 2015 announcement, CPSC and IKEA learned of additional tip-over incidents, including a February 2016 incident in which a 22-month-old boy from Apple Valley, Minn. died when a MALM 6-drawer chest fell on top of him.
None of the chests or dressers in the above-listed incidents had been anchored to the wall. In addition to the three deaths, IKEA received reports of 41 tip-over incidents involving the MALM chests and dressers, resulting in 17 injuries to children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years old.
The MALM chests and dressers are constructed of particleboard or fiberboard and are white, birch (veneer), medium brown, black-brown, white stained oak (veneer), oak (veneer), pink, turquoise, grey, grey-turquoise, lilac, green, brown stained ash (veneer), and black. A 5-digit supplier number, 4-digit date stamp, IKEA logo, country of origin and “MALM” are printed on the underside of the top panel or inside the side panel.
Since 1996, IKEA chests and dressers have been labeled to identify IKEA, the model name and the manufacturing date.
The recalled MALM chests were sold from 2002 through June 2016 for between $70 and $200.
IKEA also received 41 reports of tip-overs involving chests and dressers other than MALMs, resulting in the deaths of three children and 19 injuries to children:
- In July 1989, a 20-month-old girl from Mt. Vernon, Va. died after an unanchored GUTE 4-drawer chest tipped over and pinned her against the footboard of a youth bed.
- In March 2002, a 2½-year-old boy from Cranford, N.J. died after an unanchored RAKKE 5-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned him to the floor.
- In October 2007, a 3-year-old girl from Chula Vista, Calif. died after a KURS 3-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned her to the floor. It is unknown as to whether the dresser was anchored or not.