Citing Tip-Over Risk, IKEA Recalls 27 Million Dressers

PHILADELPHIA (The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS) -

IKEA is recalling 27 million dressers it says are at risk of tipping, after the deaths of two children, including a 2-year-old Philadelphia-area boy crushed by his dresser last year.

Under the program, announced Wednesday by the Conshohocken, Pa.-based furniture giant and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the company will provide free anchoring kits that can be used to tether the dresser to the wall.

The company and the safety commission said that they had received 14 reports of tip-overs involving MALM dressers, four of which resulted in injuries. IKEA said it is aware of three other deaths from tip-overs of other IKEA chests and dressers since 1989.

The February 2014 death of Curren Collas, the Philadelphia-area boy, was chronicled in a Philadelphia Inquirer story earlier this year on the growing threat of furniture tip-overs. His mother, Jackie Collas, has filed a lawsuit against IKEA, claiming the dresser was defective.

The company has maintained its products are extensively tested and its dressers are safe when “permanently attached to the wall, in accordance with the warnings and instructions.”

The other death involving a MALM dresser occurred in June 2014, when a 23-month-old boy died after becoming trapped beneath the three-drawer model, which is about 30 inches tall, according to the company.

More than 38,000 times each year, a tip-over sends someone in the United States to the emergency room, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. More than half are children.

In 2011, the last year for which reliable data are available, tip-overs killed 49 children nationwide — 21 more than the year before, hospital data gathered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission show.

IKEA’s repair program applies to 27 million of its dressers, 7 million from its MALM line, including the MALM 3-and 4-drawer chests and two styles of MALM 6-drawer chests.

Consumers can receive their free wall-anchoring kits at IKEA retail stores, by calling (888) 966-4532 or by visiting IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether.