Two years have passed since the Ikea furniture recall – the largest product recall in history. How well is it working? Four product safety groups in the U.S. wish they could provide a definitive answer to that question, but they claim that IKEA has kept both them and consumers in the dark about the impact of the recall.
The recall of IKEA furniture in 2016 was spurred by the deaths of two children. In Pennsylvania, a two-year-old boy’s mother found him pinned under an IKEA dresser. In Washington state, another two-year-old boy also was found under a similar dresser. Both died soon after from their injuries.
Those two fatalities were in addition to six other children who died due to toppled IKEA furniture since 1989. But there was no product recall by IKEA until another toddler in Minnesota died in 2016. At that time, IKEA announced a voluntary recall of IKEA dressers that numbered in the millions. The reason for the recall was because of a serious hazard of tipping over. IKEA urged customers to anchor most types of the company’s furniture to the wall or get a refund.
Now, two years later, safety advocates say it is unclear how many owners of IKEA products know about the dangers of some chests and dressers not being anchored to the wall. According to the product safety group Kids in Danger, IKEA spends a lot of money on marketing their products. But they should spend as much money to warn people about the dangers of some of their furniture.
The furniture giant did make a re-announcement of the recall in November 2017 after another child died. IKEA reported at that time there were 299 incidents where a chest or dresser tipped over, with 144 injuries.
But safety groups still say that it is difficult to know how effective the recall has been. They say that they have asked the company for numbers over a year ago and still have received little information.
IKEA claims it has given service for or given refunds for more than one million pieces of furniture. But the safety groups say that the real refund numbers in that math are low, noting that 175,000 people have gotten refunds out of possibly 17 million consumers, or more.
In a recent statement to NBC Chicago, the furniture company defended its recall and said it has been effective. It pointed out that there is no way to know how many of the problem chests and dressers are still being used today, because some of them were bought decades ago. The company also noted that consumers who anchor their furniture to the walls when they buy it will not need to return their furniture at all.
Safety groups responded that these types of furniture are inherently unstable and can tip over. Kids in Danger recommends that consumers return them for refunds before more children are hurt.
Were You Injured By a Defective Product? Call a Product Liability Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured by a piece of IKEA furniture affected by the recall, or another type of product, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Please contact Guajardo & Marks today for a complimentary consultation.