More than a year after IKEA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of about 29 million topple-prone Malm and other style dressers, another child’s death has been linked to the dangerous furniture.
The Philly Inquirer reports that a two-year-old California boy was killed in May when the Malm dresser in his bedroom toppled onto him.
A rep for IKEA confirmed the death, noting that it received information about the incident from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumerist has reached out to the retailer and the safety regulator for additional information.
According to the Inquirer, the boy had recently been put in his room for a nap on May 25 when the unsecured dresser fell on him. The boy’s father found the child trapped under the three-drawer dresser and called 9-1-1.
The death is thought to be the first to occur since IKEA and the CPSC issued the recall for the Malm dressers in June 2016.
A lawyer for the family tells the Inquirer that the parents were not aware of the recall and had not heard of the associated tipping dangers.
“The family is still grieving and requests that their privacy be respected in this very difficult time,” the lawyer, who also represented the parents of three other children who died as a result of Malm dressers tipping over, tells the Inquirer.
IKEA confirmed that the dresser involved in the California incident was not attached to the boy’s bedroom wall.
“Our hearts go out to the affected family, and we offer our sincere condolences during this most difficult time,” a rep for the company said, adding that the company continues to urge customers to anchor the furniture to walls.
The California death is the eighth linked to an IKEA dresser.
In Nov. 2016, the CPSC released an update on the recall, confirming that four deaths had been linked to Malm dressers, and three other deaths had been linked to non-Malm IKEA furniture.
IKEA said at the time that it had received reports of 41 tip-over incidents involving the MALM chests and dressers, resulting in 17 injuries to children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years old.
The Recalled Dressers
The May death is just the latest in a string of incidents and actions related to IKEA’s dressers.
In June 2016, IKEA and the CPSC announced a full recall of Malm dressers and chests — along with a variety of other non-Malm items — that don’t comply with industry anti-tipping standards.
The recall came after IKEA offered repair kits and wall anchors to customers as part of a repair initiative that just wasn’t getting the job done, as evidenced by the deaths of several small children.
As part of the June recall, IKEA agreed to come to consumers’ homes to take away old dressers and hand out refunds to replace the pieces of furniture. Additionally, if a customer wanted to keep the dressers, IKEA said it would send a crew out to ensure that the piece is anchored to the wall properly.
Refunds for the dressers were to work one of three ways: A full refund would be issued if the chest or dresser was manufactured between Jan. 1, 2002 and June 28, 2016; a store credit for 50% of the original purchase price if the product was manufactured before Jan. 2002; or a $50 store credit if the date stamp is unidentifiable.
Since the recall was announced last year, the Inquirer reports that IKEA has redesigned its dressers to meet industry safety standards.
Unlike the recalled dressers, the new furniture can remain upright without being anchored when a 50-pound weight is hung on a drawer. This test mimics a toddler or young child hanging or climbing the furniture.
Call For Action
Following reports of another death tied to the recalled dressers safety advocates have renewed their call for more action.
William Wallace, our colleague at Consumers Union, tells the Inquirer that the latest incident “raises serious doubts about the effectiveness of the IKEA recall.”
Those concerns were echoed by Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger.
“We’ve been trying to pressure CPSC and IKEA both to do more,” she said. “Because this is a result of a bad recall, that more children are injured.”