Consumer Groups Urge Ikea to Improve Transparency and Put Consumer Safety First

Experts

Policy Analyst

Consumers Union – Consumer Federation of America – Kids In Danger

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After recalling 29 million dressers that can too easily tip over and crush young children, Ikea is now defying a court order by failing to share its internal records about these hazardous products. The Philadelphia Inquirer has reported that the company, which manufactures and sells its own furniture, was required by August 19 to turn over this information to attorneys for the mother of a two-year-old boy who was killed by an Ikea dresser in 2014. Ikea chests and dressers are linked to six children’s deaths and 36 children’s injuries.

Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, and Kids In Danger issued the following joint statement:

“Ikea sold millions of unstable dressers with a tip-over hazard that led to the deaths of at least six toddlers and continues to place countless children at risk. It resisted a recall for too long. And now it isn’t sharing internal records about these products.

“While Ikea has been arguing that turning over the documents would harm CPSC’s recall process, we are concerned that the company’s record of pushing back against regulator and court requests to increase safety and transparency is putting consumers at risk. We urge Ikea to improve transparency and put consumer safety first.

“Given the massive size of this recall and the lack of any data so far about how well it is working, we urge Ikea to work to ensure that consumers effectively remove the unstable dressers from their home as soon as possible and continue to cooperate with regulators to share all safety-related records about this hazard. This information could prove critical to motivating quick action and broader participation in the recall.”

The Inquirer reported that the records at issue come from the company’s negotiations with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) over the June recall, and include photos and videos of internal Ikea testing and “items that might shed light on how widespread a threat Ikea dressers have posed.” The company could face fines or other penalties for failing to comply with the court’s order to turn over the documents.

According to the CPSC, one child dies every two weeks and one child is sent to the emergency room every 24 minutes from furniture or TVs tipping over. Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, and Kids In Danger support the CPSC’s Anchor It! campaign to minimize furniture and appliance tip-over hazards and urge consumers with recalled dressers to take immediate action to prevent a tragedy in their home.

Contact:

William Wallace, CU – (202) 462-6262
Rachel Weintraub, CFA – (202) 387-6121
Nancy Cowles, KID – (312) 218-5593