IKEA, the do-it-yourself furniture giant, on Tuesday issued a recall of 29 million MALM chests and drawers after three children died in the past two years when the dressers tipped over.
“The recalled chests and dressers are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children,” IKEA said in a statement.
It affects children’s chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches as well as adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches that don’t coincide with performance requirements of the U.S. industry standard.
The chests and drawers were made up until June 2016, including the 3-drawer, 4-drawer, 5-drawer, and 6-drawer models.
The deaths from the IKEA chest tip-overs include a 2-year-old boy from Pennsylvania, a 23-month old-boy from Washington, and a 22-month-old boy from Minnesota. Then, IKEA launched a program that offered free wall-mounting kits for its customers.
Earlier this year, a 22-month-old child in Minnesota was killed after a chest fell on him. The family was renting their apartment, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and they weren’t allowed to make holes in the wall, as required by IKEA’s kits.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is aiding IKEA in the recall, said three other children have died since 1989 due to IKEA products.
“It is simply too dangerous to have the recalled furniture in your home unanchored, especially if you have young children,” the CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said in a statement.
Elliot gives several options for consumers, which is either take the chest or dresser back to any IKEA store for a full refund or store credit, depending on the age of the product, or to call IKEA for the free anchoring kit. A third option would be to call IKEA and ask them to come remove the product for a refund or store credit.
“Do it now and you may save the life of a child,” Elliot said. “If you have an IKEA chest or dresser, please respond to the recall immediately.”
In addition to those six deaths, IKEA received reports of 17 injuries to children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years old.
“We applaud the CPSC for taking a tough stand in support of consumer product safety by demanding that IKEA take concrete action to get these defective dressers off the market,” Alan Feldman, attorney at Philadelphia personal injury firm Feldman Shepherd Wohlgelernter Tanner Weinstock Dodig LLP, which filed a lawsuit for the families of the toddlers. “It should not have taken repeated injuries and deaths over many years before IKEA finally responded to the potential hazard it placed in millions of American homes.”