The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall notice regarding millions of dressers sold by furniture giant IKEA, announcing last week that the company is offering free repair kits to customers.
According to the CPSC notice (see link below) “the chests and dressers can pose a tip-over hazard if not securely anchored to the wall.” The danger of injuries to children is especially acute from this defective product. The models effected are the “MALM 3- and 4-drawer chests and two styles of MALM 6-drawer chests… about 7 million MALM chests and 20 million other IKEA chests and dressers are part of the nationwide repair program.”
The recall follows reports of two children’s deaths after IKEA dressers tipped over on them. The agency notes that “consumers should immediately stop using all IKEA children’s chests and dressers taller than 23-1/2 inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29-1/2 inches, unless they are securely anchored to the wall.” As part of the recall IKEA is offering free wall anchoring kits to consumers.
The reason why so many chests and dressers are involved in the recall is that the company has been selling these models since 2002.
The agency notes in its news release that “a child dies every two weeks and a child is injured every 24 minutes in the US from furniture or TVs tipping over, according to CPSC data.” As an Oregon lawyer specializing in both product safety and helping families that have suffered injuries to children I am pleased to see the recall going ahead, and the efforts being made to distribute millions of repair kits. One must wonder, however, why it has taken so long for this recall to get going, and how many families out there may not even know that an older chest or dresser, perhaps purchased second-hand long ago, is subject to these new safety measures. The fact that so much time has passed since these dangerous products first went on sale is troubling.