Washington, D.C. — Today, the one year anniversary of the recall of 29 million units of IKEA dressers, Kids In Danger (KID), Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Shane’s Foundation, called on IKEA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to reinvest in the recall to remove more dangerous products from use.
In a letter to CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, the groups urged the safety agency to take strong, immediate action to better protect children from the tip-over hazard posed by IKEA dressers, the MALM in particular.
“While we applauded last year’s recall of the MALM and other IKEA dressers after six deaths (a seventh death was announced after the recall), we have been repeatedly dismayed by the lack of preparation for the recall and the lack of action to encourage consumer participation with the recall,” the groups stated in the letter. “IKEA quickly moved on to simply sharing their anchoring message with consumers without highlighting the recalled products. In fact, recently MALM dressers and other recalled unit names returned to IKEA stores and are available for sale again – adding more confusion to the recall.”
It quickly became apparent after last year’s June 28 recall that IKEA had not adequately prepared for the recall – news reports of long waits, unresponsive store employees and no response came quickly – and continue. At least as recently as January 2017, twitter posts of unresolved recall issues were still appearing. As any marketing professional can tell you – many of those who called IKEA just after the recall was announced were frustrated by no response or a long wait, and never went back to complete the action – leaving dangerous tipping dressers in homes across the country.
The process has not been transparent. IKEA has withheld information about how effective the recall has been. The most recent data we have is from January 2017 and may only go through the end of 2016. But given that most recalls have larger responses soon after the recall announcement, it is unlikely that these response rates are significantly higher:
- 175,000 refunds were provided to consumers,
- 268,000 consumers received anchoring straps since the recall. And
- an additional 439,000 straps were sent out by IKEA prior to the recall, based on the July 2015 announcement by CPSC and IKEA of the deaths.
The letter to Acting Chairman Buerkle concluded, “We urge IKEA to put more resources and effort into retrieving the additional 28 million dressers involved in the recall. We ask the CPSC to review the corrective action plan to assure compliance, amend the CAP if inadequate, and work with IKEA to reach more consumers. These unsecured dressers are ticking time bombs in our children’s bedrooms and homes. Rather than move on with new versions of the tainted MALM name and sweep the recall under the rug, IKEA must do everything it can to retrieve its faulty dressers.”
Janet McGee, mother of Ted McGee whose death on February 14, 2016 led to the recall, joined the consumer groups and said, “Every day that goes by, children are in grave danger when an unanchored dresser lurks inside their seemingly safe bedroom.”
Nancy A Cowles
Kids In Danger
Legislative Director and General Counsel
Consumer Federation of America
The Consumer Federation of America is a national organization of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.
Kids In Danger (KID) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety. KID’s mission is to promote the development of safer products, advocate for children and educate parents and caregivers about dangerous children’s products.
Founded in February 2012, Shane’s Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to child safety with an emphasis on furniture tip-over prevention. We are a leader in providing tip-over education and responsible for bringing awareness to the forefront of various safety organizations.