WASHINGTON — Ikea has agreed to stop selling and recall a dresser that had a tipping problem that had injured several people, including a 22-month-old child from Apple Valley who was killed in February.
The recall was announced Tuesday by Ikea and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. It came a month after three members of Congress, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, called on federal regulators to push for a ban on sales, as well as a recall.
Ikea has sold 29 million of the Malm brand dressers involved in the accidents. Ikea will now recall the dressers, offer refunds to buyers and stop new sales until the tip-over problem has been addressed.
"While today's announcement won't bring back the children who tragically lost their lives to tip-overs, it will hopefully prevent future tragedies by taking this dresser off the market and leading to greater public awareness," Klobuchar said in a statement.
The products safety commission said the 29 million recalled chests and dressers "include: Malm three-drawer, four-drawer, five-drawer and three six-drawer models and other children's and adult chests and dressers." The dressers "are unstable if they are not properly anchored to the wall, posing a serious tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or serious injuries to children."
The death of 22-month-old Teddy McGee of Apple Valley spurred the recall. Teddy was fatally injured when a Malm dresser tipped over on him. His death in February 2016 occurred despite a repair program that Ikea and the products safety commission announced in July 2015 after two other child deaths.
Teddy's parents have said they were unaware of the tipping problem.
Klobuchar, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., joined forces in May to push the government for a recall and sales moratorium. Klobuchar and Schakowsky also wrote to the president of Ikea's North American division to say that the company's reaction to the Malm-related deaths and 41 other injuries had been "clearly insufficient."
In addition to pressing for a recall, Klobuchar, Casey, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., introduced a bill in the Senate.
The Stop Tip-over of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act requires the product safety commission to mandate a stronger stability standard for storage units that includes chests, bureaus, and dressers. Schakowsky offered a companion bill in the House.