Major Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has launched a mass recall of one of its products after it caused the death of two-year-old boy this year.
IKEA has recalled 29 million Malm chests and drawers after it claimed its eighth victim, two-year-old Jozef Dudek.
The toddler from Buena Park, California, was found trapped underneath a Malm dresser after his father put him down for a nap. When he came back to check on him young Jozef was found under the weight of the dresser.
In an announcement on Tuesday, IKEA’s CEO Lars Petersson said they were trying to increase the awareness of their recall first issued in June 2016. He warned the chest of drawers can easily tip over if not secured properly to a wall.
IKEA, along with federal safety regulators, are again asking their customers to take swift action.
There was an ‘extensive communication’ campaign through social media, its website as well as TV and print adverts following the first incident. IKEA say they emailed at least 13 million customers for a recall two months ago.
In Petersson’s statement he said the recall was important:
… because we think that it’s so important to reach as many people as possible.
However it wasn’t enough to prevent the deaths of the eight children, three of the victims, including Jozef, were under the age of three, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The first known incident in these tragic events occurred 28 years ago while the others occurred after 2002.
A lawyer for the Dudek family, Alan Feldman, criticised the recall response, claiming it has been ‘poorly publicised’ and:
… ineffective in getting these defective and unstable dressers out of children’s bedrooms.
Coincidentally Feldman is part of a team of lawyers who have already represented three other families whose children’s lives were claimed by the dangerous product. IKEA settled with the families for $50 million (£37.8 million) in December 2016.
According to Petersson, since the recall over one million of the Malm chests and drawers have been returned with a refund or have been safely secured with IKEA’s help.
Furthermore IKEA has stopped selling the chest and dressers, along with other products which do not comply with US voluntary industry standards.