Last month, IKEA recalled millions of dressers and chests of drawers from its North American market after accidents linked them to 6 children’s deaths and 36 injuries, but continued selling them in China and other countries. After it received widespread condemnation in the Chinese media for this double standard, the furniture giant has decided that it will recall the hazardous pieces of furniture in China as well.
The recalled chests and dressers do not comply with furniture safety standards in the US, but are fine under China’s standards. Previously, IKEA only urged Chinese customers to make sure that all chests of drawers and dressers are secured firmly to the wall and offered kits to do this for free. It also continued selling the dressers in its biggest market, the EU.
IKEA recently denied rumors of a recall, but changed its mind today. After it met with China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, the company decided to recall the 1,660,845 dressers and chests of drawers sold in China between 1999 and 2016. Customers in China can now choose between ordering a restraint kit for free or returning the furniture to IKEA for a full refund.
The recalled pieces of furniture, mostly from the MALM line, are prone to tipping over and pinning or trapping children, if not secured to a wall. All the cases of injuries occurred with unanchored chests and dressers, and none has occurred in China.
IKEA isn’t the only company found to have risky furniture. For instance, in an inspection, Shanghai’s consumer rights protection watchdog recently found stores selling desks with sharp edges and wardrobes without ventilation holes, which do not meet safety standards.
By Amy Yang