Furniture retailer IKEA will recall 1.66 million chests and dressers in China following concerns that the furniture could harm children if not affixed properly to walls, China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine announced Tuesday.
IKEA’s MALM chests or dressers manufactured from 1999 to 2016 will be recalled, the Chinese safety regulator reportedly said.
About two weeks ago, the Swedish company announced that it is recalling 29 million chests and dressers in the United States and a similar recall was announced by the company’s Canada operation. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reportedly said the recall involved 8 million chests and dressers belonging to IKEA’s popular MALM line and 21 million other children’s and adult’s chests and dressers.
IKEA’s U.S. President Lars Petersson told the Wall Street Journal that the company’s chests and dressers aren’t built to be freestanding and must be secured to a wall.
“We would like to create a culture of attaching chests of drawers to the wall,” Petersson said. “It should be as simple and natural as putting on your seat belt when driving a car.” In the U.S., the company has so far distributed about 300,000 wall anchors that cover about 1 percent of the 29 million units sold.
The recall announcement by the U.S. and Canada reportedly sparked heated discussions among Chinese consumers regarding them being excluded from the deal amid allegations of lax safety standards upheld by China. IKEA defended its decision to limit the recall just to North America saying that its products met the safety standards in China, the European Union and other markets.
“The chests and dressers conform to all local regulations and standards,” IKEA spokeswoman Xian Jiaxin reportedly said. “We emphasize to customers that they must be fastened to a wall.”