Update, June 28, 2016: After three children died in recent tip-over accidents, IKEA will stop selling the MALM dresser. Other types of IKEA chests have also killed three other toddlers, prompting the company to recall most of its dressers and chests, a total of 29 million items sold in the U.S. over the past 14 years.
IKEA pulled the three, four, five and six-drawer MALM models from its website on Monday, but not the two-drawer chest. The taller items failed industry safety tests because they could fall over when unattached to a wall. The decision marks a sharp turn from the retailer's previous efforts to provide free anchoring kits while continuing to sell the dangerous products. But after the MALM dresser caused a third death in two years, multiple consumer organizations called for a definitive recall.
"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," IKEA spokeswoman Mona Astra Liss told Fortune on Monday.
IKEA has also recalled the GUTE, RAKKE and KURS chests. A GUTE four-drawer chest tipped over and killed a toddler in 1989, as did the RAKKE five-drawer chest in 2002 and the KURS three-drawer chest in 2007.
Anyone who recently purchased an IKEA children's dresser over 23.5 inches high or an adult dresser over 29.5 inches is eligible for a full refund, while items bought before 2002 can be exchanged for partial store credit. Customers can also order the free wall-anchoring kit, with complimentary in-home installation upon request.
Besides the three deaths, MALM products have caused another 41 tip-over incidents, including 17 injuries to children under 10 years old. Other types of IKEA dressers are linked to 41 more accidents, including the additional19 more injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child is injured every 24 minutes in the U.S. from furniture or TVs tipping over, averaging one death per week.
Update, April 18, 2016: A Minnesota toddler is the latest child to die after an IKEA MALM dresser tipped over. After his mom put Theodore "Ted" McGee down for a nap in his bedroom, she went back to check on her son 20 minutes later, and found the six-drawer chest had fallen on top of the 22-month-old. "They didn't hear the dresser fall," the family's attorney Alan Feldman said. "They didn't hear Ted scream."
The McGees, who hadn't heard about the repair program last July, are pursuing a lawsuit against the retailer for not issuing a stronger warning. Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and IKEA are investigating the death.
Original Story, July 22, 2015: IKEA may be known for their easy-to-assemble furniture and endless home decor options, but the Sweden-based company is currently gaining attention for a slightly less appealing reason. Apparently, there are potential dangers associated with their classic MALM collection and other pieces.
In conjunction with the CPSC, the retailer just announced that they are recalling 27 million chests and dressers because they can tip over and crush children if they aren't properly anchored to the wall.
The news comes after two children died after furniture fell on them in 2014, though the company says it has been made aware of 14 other reports of tip-over incidents that led to four injuries and three additional deaths from tip-overs since 1989.
In a statement, IKEA's U.S. commercial manager Patty Lobell said they are "deeply saddened" by the deaths and hope "our efforts prevent further tragedies." Beyond the recall, those efforts include a new repair program in which consumers who have purchased any of the 7 million MALM chests and 20 million other IKEA chests included, can order or pick up a new free wall anchoring kit instead of returning the furniture.
But CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye doesn't want IKEA to stop there, as he hopes the company will lead the way by setting an example for the entire furniture industry to follow.
"Today is a positive step and I commend IKEA for taking that step," said Kaye. "But they need to do more and to make more stable furniture and they need to help lead industry."
[h/t USA Today]