Washington D.C.—Today, Kids In Danger (KID), Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Consumers Union and the National Center for Health Research called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to secure a formal recall of IKEA furniture responsible for the deaths of three toddlers in tip-over incidents.
In a letter to CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye, the groups urged the safety agency to take strong, immediate action to better protect children from the tip-over hazard of certain IKEA Malm dressers. Just last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the February death of a 22-month-old boy in Apple Valley, Minnesota, who died when the Malm dresser in his room tipped over on him.
This is the third confirmed tip-over death from IKEA Malm dressers. In July 2015, the CPSC and IKEA announced two deaths from tipping dressers, and launched a repair and education campaign for the products, but did not issue a recall. In the letter sent today, the safety advocacy groups urged a formal recall, including a stop-sale of unsafe products and refunds for consumers who would like them.
“To learn that a tipping IKEA Malm dresser killed yet another child, when the company and the CPSC chose not to do a recall after the first two deaths, is beyond heartbreaking – it is unacceptable,” wrote the groups.
The July 2015 announcement by CPSC and IKEA also did not inform consumers that the IKEA dresser in question fails to meet a voluntary safety standard agreed to by the furniture industry, ASTM F2057-14. While the voluntary standard is considered by many to be weak, it does require testing to ensure each drawer is able to withstand a 50-pound weight, while open, without the dresser tipping over. At less than 2 years old, it is unlikely the child in the most recent death weighed more than 50 pounds. Had the dresser complied with industry standards, he may have survived.
“We urge the CPSC to take further action and deem this compliance action a recall,” the groups added. “We recommend a stop sale of the type of furniture that was involved in deaths and that does not meet the ASTM standard, as well as refunds for consumers who want them. For those who want to anchor the furniture, IKEA should develop a program to provide an incentive for consumers to anchor their furniture.”