Child Deaths Prompt Ikea Recall Reboot

Nov. 30, 2017

Home furnishing retailer Ikea has announced a new effort to publicize the recall of its popular MALM dresser due to a dangerous tipping hazard. 

The recall, first announced in 2016, includes the option of a full refund, store credit or free wall anchoring kit. 

“Consumers should immediately stop using any recalled chest or dresser that is not properly anchored to the wall and place it in an area that children cannot access,” the company states. The recall includes MALM 3-, 4- and 5-drawer models and any MALM product taller than 23.5 inches.

MALM dressers and chests are sold in white, black, light green and stained wood finishes. The recall covers 17.3 million units sold between January 2002 and June 2016.

Ikea has received 186 reports of tip-over incidents involving MALM dressers and chests, with eight leading to deaths of small children. If not secured to a wall, the dressers are prone to tipping over when weight, such as that of a climbing child, is added to the drawers. 

In the most recent recorded incident, a 2-year-old boy in Buena Park, Calif. died in May after becoming trapped beneath a 3-drawer MALM chest.

“Dangerous tip-over incidents often occur when curious kids climb on furniture in an attempt to access TVs, toys, remotes or other desired items,” the recall notes. “While the threat is serious, the solution is simple. Anchor TVs, furniture and appliances in the home. And when product recalls are announced, act on them immediately."