IKEA has recalled millions of dressers and chests in the US and Canada following the death of a child. IKEA said in a statement that the furniture poses a “serious tip-over and entrapment hazard” when not properly secured to the wall.
The dressers were first recalled in 2016 after four children died, one being 2 year old Josef Dudek who became trapped under the 3 door Malm Chest. There have been four other children’s deaths since 2011 that were linked the safety issues of the range, and three more from other ranges of furniture since 1989.
The re-launch of the recall affects IKEA’s children’s chests of drawers which are taller than 60cm, as well as adult chests which are taller than 75cm, which includes most of its Malm range. The company has had reports of over 300 incidents in the US and Canada since it was launched which were related to items falling over when not secured to the wall.
These incidents have resulted in the deaths of 8 children between the age of 19 months and 10 years, and a further 144 injuries. The items were initially recalled in 2016, however an attorney for the Dudek family, whose son was killed by a piece of the furniture, said that the recall was not effective and that the items still pose a safety risk to the public.
The attorney added that “Sadly, Jozef’s death was completely avoidable, had IKEA adhered to safe design standards. What makes this death more heartbreaking is the fact that last year’s so-called recall was poorly publicized by IKEA and ineffective in getting these defective and unstable dressers out of children’s bedrooms. It’s terrifying that there are millions more of these dressers in homes across the country, which may cause more harm and anguish in the future”.
The company has been criticised for not recalling the furniture sooner; and still refuses to recall products in some countries claiming that it meets “mandatory stability standards” in all countries it operates in. IKEA recalled 1.7million items in China last year following the deaths in the US and concerns over safety of its products.
They have also launched a safety campaign called “Secure It” which it hopes will raise awareness of the potential dangers of not securing the dressers to the wall properly. A spokesperson says that IKEA have no plans to issue recalls in any other countries.
In a statement, IKEA say that: “Our priority is and has always been to ensure that our products are safe to use. That means securing the chest of drawers to the wall according to the assembly instructions, using the tip-over restraint provided with the product.
“We don’t believe a global recall from IKEA would be the solution. Instead, we are convinced that we can make a difference by raising awareness among consumers of the tip-over risks and how to prevent them through the global Secure it! campaign.”
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