Products Liability Law Daily IKEA urges consumers to act on MALM dresser refund/repair after 8th child fatality
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

IKEA urges consumers to act on MALM dresser refund/repair after 8th child fatality

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

IKEA Supply AG, of Switzerland, has reannounced its recall of around 17.3 million children’s and adult chests and dressers because the recalled chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing serious tip-over and entrapment hazards that can result in injuries or death to children. Based on updated information from IKEA, the number of recalled units in the United States has been revised downward from a previous recall notice published in June 2016 (CPSC Recall Notice, No. 18-040, November 21, 2017).

Incidents and injuries. IKEA has received 186 reports of tip-over incidents involving the MALM chests and dressers, including 91 reports of injuries to children. In addition, IKEA has received 113 reports of tip-overs with other recalled IKEA chests and dressers, including 53 reports of injuries to children.

There have been eight reports of child tip-over-related deaths with the recalled chests and dressers. The most recent reported death, in May 2017, involved a 2-year-old boy in Buena Park, California, after he became trapped beneath an unanchored MALM 3-drawer chest that tipped over.

Previously reported deaths with MALM dressers or chests include:

  • February 2016: A 22-month-old boy from Apple Valley, Minnesota, died after an unanchored MALM 6-drawer chest fell on top of him.
  • June 2014: A 23-month-old boy from Snohomish, Washington, died after he became trapped beneath an unanchored MALM 3-drawer chest that tipped over.
  • February 2014: A 2-year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania, died after an unanchored MALM 6-drawer chest tipped over, fatally pinning him against his bed.
  • September 2011: A 2-year-old boy from Woodbridge, Virginia, died after an unanchored MALM 3-drawer chest tipped over and trapped him between the dresser drawers.

Previously reported deaths with other model IKEA chests and dressers include:

  • July 1989: A 20-month-old girl from Mt. Vernon, Virginia, died after an unanchored GUTE 4-drawer chest tipped over and pinned her against the footboard of a youth bed.
  • March 2002: A 2 1/2-year-old boy from Cranford, New Jersey, died after an unanchored RAKKE 5-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned him to the floor.
  • October 2007: A 3-year-old girl from Chula Vista, California, died after a KURS 3-drawer chest tipped over and fatally pinned her to the floor. It is unknown whether the dresser was anchored or not.

Product description. This recall reannouncement involves MALM and other IKEA chests and dressers that do not comply with the requirements of the U.S. voluntary industry standard (ASTM F2057-14). The recalled children’s and adult chests and dressers include the MALM 3-drawer, 4-drawer, 5-drawer, and three 6-drawer models and other non-MALM models. The recalled children’s chests and dressers are taller than 23.5 inches; recalled adult chests and dressers are taller than 29.5 inches.

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, the IKEA logo, country of origin, and "MALM" are printed on the underside of the top panel or inside the side panel. A list of recalled chests and dressers and their "sold" dates is available at www.cpsc.gov. To see a complete list of other non-MALM chests and dressers included in this recall, go to www.IKEA-USA.com or http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/ikea-chest-and-dresser-recall/index.html on IKEA’s website.

These chests and dressers, which were manufactured in various countries, were sold at IKEA stores nationwide and online at www.IKEA.com from January 2002 through June 2016 for between$70 and $200. Other chests and dressers subject to this recall were sold between approximately 1985 and June 2016.

Remedy. Consumers should stop using any recalled chest or dresser that is not properly anchored to the wall immediately and place it in an area that children cannot access. Contact IKEA for a choice between two options: a refund or a free wall-anchoring kit. IKEA will pick up the recalled dressers free of charge or provide a one-time, free in-home wall-anchoring service for consumers upon request. Consumers with chests and dressers manufactured prior to January 2002 are eligible for a partial store credit.

Customer contact. For more information, customers may contact IKEA toll-free at 866-856-4532 anytime, or online at www.IKEA-USA.com or http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/ikea-chest-and-dresser-recall/index.html.

Companies: IKEA Supply AG

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews HouseholdProductsNews ChildrensProductsNews

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