Ikea recalls millions of Malm dressers after several U.S. children killed
Recall will include approximately 6 million units sold in Canada since 2002, Ikea Canada says
The deaths of several children in the U.S. after dressers toppled over have prompted Ikea to recall one of its best selling items, the Malm dresser.
The Swedish furniture makers says it is recalling 29 million Malm or similar dressers in the U.S, along with 6.6 million in Canada, because the units are unstable if they aren't secured to a wall.
A half dozen U.S. children have died in incidents where the popular dressers toppled over.
All of the children killed were three years old or younger, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. One of the children was killed about 27 years ago. The other deaths were more recent, between 2002 and 2016. The CPSC said it received 36 reports of children who were injured.
The recall includes approximately 6.6 million sold in Canada since 1998. But chests of drawers manufactured prior to 2002 will be eligible for a partial store credit.
Models included in the recall are Malm children's chests and drawers taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches.
"Ikea Canada takes its role as a responsible retailer very seriously, and we want to raise the awareness of the hazard of furniture tip-over in Canadians' homes," Ikea Canada's president Stefan Sjöstrand said in a statement.
From now on, the company says it will only sell chests of drawers that meet the voluntary North American ASTM standard requirements on free-standing stability.
Malm dressers are one of the best selling items in Ikea's history.
"There are millions and millions of these products in people's homes," said Rachel Weintraub, of the Consumer Federation of America.
"The evidence we have of the hazard is robust, the number of people who could be impacted is profound, and it's incredibly important to take action."
Ikea issued a repair kit last year that would secure the dressers to the wall, but now says further action is needed. If customers don't want to retrofit their dressers, they are entitled to a full refund, the company said.