After another child fatality, bringing the total number to six, home goods giant IKEA has issued a recall of 29 million MALM model dressers, in addition to other models of chests and drawers. When not properly anchored to the wall, the recalled models of both chests and dressers remain unstable and pose a serious tipping risk, which can result in adults and children becoming trapped. Death poses a very real threat to younger children due to the weight of the object.
All consumers are encouraged to stop using the dressers or chests immediately and contact IKEA for either a full refund or a free wall-anchoring kit, depending on when the item was purchased. All chests and dressers made between January 2002 and June 2016 are eligible for a full refund, while those made prior to January 2002 are eligible for a limited store credit toward the purchase of a different item. The dressers and chests designed for adults in question measure higher than 29.5 inches, while the children’s dressers and chests measure higher than 23.5 inches.
In 2015, both the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and IKEA acknowledged two fatal deaths as the result of the MALM model dresser tipping over and crushing the young children by announcing the implementation of a repair program that included a free wall-anchoring kit. The two deaths were believed to have occurred in 2014; the first in February and the second in June. In the February incident, a 2-year-old West Chester, Pennsylvania boy died after a six-drawer MALM chest tipped over, pinning him to his bed. In June of that same year, a Snohomish, Washington boy became trapped under a three-drawer MALM chest that also tipped over, which led to the 23-month-old’s tragic death.
Subsequent to the deaths and proposed safety measures by the CPSC and IKEA, news of further incidents involving the MALM chest’s propensity to tip over were reported, ultimately causing four additional deaths; the most recent occurring in February of 2016. It was later discovered the first tip-over MALM related death took place in 2011 when a 2-year-old boy from Woodbridge, Virginia died after becoming trapped between the drawers of a 3-drawer MALM chest. In addition to the heartbreaking loss of young lives, 41 tip-over events were reported to IKEA, 17 of which involved children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years.
There have also been 41 reports of different model chests and dressers manufactured by IKEA tipping over. In these instances, three children died and 19 were injured. According to data released by the CPSC, a child is injured every 24 minutes in the United States, while one child dies every two weeks due to TV’s or furniture tipping over unexpectedly.
If you currently have an IKEA MALM model (or other model) dresser or chest you would like to return, receive a free-anchoring kit for, or partial store credit, you can contact IKEA directly at 866-856-4532 or visit www.IKEA-USA.com/recallchestsanddressers. Both are available 24-hours a day.
Since 1996, IKEA has placed labels on its chests and dressers identifying the model name and date it was made. The label includes an IKEA logo, a 5-digit supplier number, a 4-digit date stamp, the product name (MALM) and the country of origin. The labels are affixed to either the inside side panel or the underside of the top panel.
If you no longer have the label, you may still contact IKEA if you believe you have a dangerous model dresser or chest and describe the item to better understand your options and safety rating of the piece.
Following an Additional Child Fatality, IKEA Recalls 29 Million MALM and Other Models of Chests and Dressers Due to Serious Tip-Over Hazard; Consumers Urged to Anchor Chests and Dressers or Return for Refund