IKEA to recall millions of dressers in US after 3 toddler deaths


Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has issued a massive recall in the United States for dressers that could tip over and have been blamed for the deaths of three children.

The MALM line of dressers has been blamed for three toddler deaths in the United States.
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The MALM line of dressers has been blamed for three toddler deaths in the United States.

The recall applies to at least 27 million dressers, including the company’s popular Malm line, according to US media reports on Monday (Jun 27). The Malm dressers have already been pulled from IKEA’s US website.

Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, IKEA Singapore said on Tuesday it will not be recalling the dressers here.

“Chests of drawers are safe when anchored to the wall. Customers are reminded to check that their chests of drawers in their homes are properly anchored to the wall with the provided tip-over restraint per the assembly instructions,” it said.

Customers who require a replacement restraint kit to secure their dresser can contact IKEA to get one free of charge, the company added.

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Details of the US recall will be made public on Tuesday, US media quoted an IKEA spokesperson as saying, although several reports said that full refunds will be offered. For consumers who want to keep the products, IKEA will send repair crews to consumers’ homes to secure the dressers to the wall, reports said.

The recall was issued after a 22-month-old boy in Minnesota died in February after a Malm dresser toppled over on top of him. He was the third child to die in a Malm dresser tip-over in less than two years, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“We are announcing this recall today given the recent tragic death of a third child. It is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers’ homes, and we believe that taking further action is the right thing to do,” the company said in a statement to CNN Money.

The furniture giant launched a safety campaign in the US last year offering free anchoring kits to customers with the dressers, but did not offer refunds or replacements then.

ONE CASE OF DRAWERS TIPPING OVER IN 10 YEARS: IKEA SINGAPORE

In response to media queries, IKEA Singapore said it has only encountered one case of drawers tipping in Singapore, and that occurred 10 years ago.

“No serious injuries were reported. Our co-worker went to the customer’s home to have the chest of drawers replaced and made sure to fix it securely onto the wall,” a spokesperson for the furniture chain said. “We have not had other cases since.”

“At IKEA, we have strict product requirements in place and all products are tested to and comply with applicable standards and legislations on all markets where they are sold,” IKEA Singapore said, adding that when a possible safety issue with the design or manufacture of any of its products arises, it is investigated and product recalls are issued.

A check by Channel NewsAsia showed that IKEA Singapore has issued five product recalls for non-edible products so far in 2016. This is compared to one in 2015, and two in 2014.

Author: Hassan Khazaal

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