Ikea’s Failure to Meet Voluntary Safety Standards Resulted in the Largest Furniture Recall in US History

August 4, 2016 | Crandall & Pera Law
Ikea’s Failure to Meet Voluntary Safety Standards Resulted in the Largest Furniture Recall in US History

Ikea, the flat-pack furniture behemoth with a flimsy object in every home, announced the recall of 29 million chests and dressers in a deal with federal regulators. The recalled units do not conform to voluntary safety standards for furniture, which suggest that extended drawers can carry up to 50lbs of pressure before the unit begins to tip. While the lack of industry regulations played a role, the company’s unwillingness to comply with suggested standards directly caused this massive recall.

Efficient packaging leaves no room for voluntary compliance

Ikea specializes in lightweight, affordable furniture, a niche that caters to young urbanites and college students. Unfortunately, the reduction in weight and ease of assembly that make the furniture so affordable comes at a steep cost elsewhere; namely, quality. The company’s private mission to make everything portable, easy to carry, and easy to assemble supersedes any concerns about compliance with voluntary regulations. It’s a simple matter of the bottom line.

The recall, issued June 28, applies to all furniture that doesn’t meet the minimum voluntary safety standards, and binds Ikea to offer either removal of the recalled units with a full refund or installation of a wall anchor to eliminate the tipping hazard. The company sought to ward off the recall last year by offering free wall anchor kits, a step considered wildly inadequate by safety advocates because consumers remained uninformed of the risks posed by unanchored furniture.

A recall 27 years in the making

The New York Times said of the recall, “The move by the Swedish company, the world’s largest furniture seller, represented a crucial victory for consumer advocates in a years’ long effort to hold it accountable for a growing death toll of young children dating to 1989.” The furniture in question has crushed seven toddlers to death in tip-over accidents and caused more than 70 injuries over the years.

When corporate culture places efficiency above product safety, families suffer needlessly. Ikea’s failure to comply with voluntary safety guidelines placed millions at risk, and left families devastated by the untimely deaths of young children whose eagerness to explore the world spelled their demise at the hands of a faceless corporation. Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman Elliot Kaye summed up the recall concisely, telling the Times, “That doesn’t exonerate them [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"][Ikea] from the past, but it is, from a consumer-safety standpoint, a positive announcement.”

If your loved one has been injured or killed by a defective product, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Ohio and Kentucky defective product attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. To speak to a defective product attorney, call our Kentucky legal team at 877.651.7764 or our Ohio legal team at 877.686.8879, or contact us today for a free consultation.