Ikea Ireland refuses to recall chest of drawers despite US deaths

Product deemed by US safety experts to pose ‘serious hazard’ to children after three die

Recall in the US affects 29 million chests of drawers sold, according to US Consumer Product Safety Commission head Elliot Kaye. FIle photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Recall in the US affects 29 million chests of drawers sold, according to US Consumer Product Safety Commission head Elliot Kaye. FIle photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

Furniture giant Ikea has said it will not recall its Malm chest of drawers in the Republic, despite doing so in North America after three children were crushed to death by the product.

The recall in the US affects 29 million chests of drawers sold, according to US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) head Elliot Kaye, who also “implored” owners of the product to “act immediately”.

“If you have, or think you have, one of these drawers, please act immediately,” he said. “We’re imploring you.” He added the product poses a “serious hazard” to children.

The models are unstable if not properly attached to a wall.

In addition to the three deaths since 2014, Ikea has received reports of 41 tip-over incidents, resulting in injuries to 17 children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years old, the commission said.

In response to queries from The Irish Times, Ikea Ireland and UK country customer relations manager Donna Moore said the product “meets all mandatory stability requirements” in the Republic.

“At Ikea, we believe children are the most important people in the world and the safety of our products is our highest priority,” she said.

Tip-over restraint

“Ikea chests of drawers are safe when anchored to the wall, as per the assembly instructions using the tip-over restraint provided with the product. We are committed to raising awareness of the tip-over risks of all furniture and how to prevent accidents from happening through our ‘Secure it!’ campaign.

“The recall in North America is an outcome of a dialogue between Ikea in the US and Canada and the local consumer authorities. The recall is based on the local ASTM standard, applicable for the sale of chests of drawers in North America.

“Ikea chests of drawers meet all mandatory stability requirements on all markets where sold, including the UK and Ireland. Ikea urges all customers to check their chests of drawers are securely anchored to the wall.”

She added that customers can return products they are unhappy with in line with the store’s returns policy.

“Any customer is welcome to contact us on 015413302 or to request a free replacement restraint kit if they haven’t already fixed their chest of drawers to the wall,” she said.

“Alternatively, should any customer be unhappy with their Ikea furniture they can return the product to their local Ikea store in line with our generous returns policy”.