IKEA Is Discontinuing Some Malm Dressers, Recalling 27 Million Units

Tomorrow IKEA will reportedly announce a recall of over 27 million Malm dressers. And shockingly, the Swedish furniture company is doing away with the piece of furniture altogether. Many versions of the Malm dresser were officially removed from the IKEA website today. Malm dresser (IKEA)

Update: IKEA Australia has an official response to the Malm dresser situation:

Please see below a statement from IKEA Australia:    At IKEA, the safety of our products is our highest priority.    IKEA chest of drawers are safe when attached to the wall, as directed in the assembly instructions.    IKEA provides anti tip restraints and instructions for wall anchoring with all chest of drawers. We spread awareness of the importance of securing furniture on our products and product instructions, on the website and in-store.    IKEA Australia offers customers who have misplaced the tip over restraints included with their chest of drawers additional free replacements which can be picked up in any store or can be ordered by contacting https://www.ordersafetykit.com/.    IKEA Australia is not undertaking a recall.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, three American children have died since 2014 from Malm dressers crushing them. The pieces are so top-heavy that they pose a serious tipping risk. Neither the US Consumer Product Safety Commission nor IKEA are commenting on the recall yet, telling the Inquirer that they will be releasing statements tomorrow. But a US government source told the Inquirer that this recall was "unprecedented".

It's not clear if all sizes of the Malm dresser will be affected by the recall. But 27 million is quite a few units. That's roughly the population of Texas. Or, to put it another way, that's 4 million more than the population of Australia.

The Malm will be remembered as an affordable and utilitarian piece of pulp wood that kept so many Millennial socks in their little sock drawer and so many Millennial T-shirts in their little T-shirt drawer. The Malm will also be remembered for feeling like it was perpetually on the verge of just falling apart in your hands if you closed a drawer even a little too hard.

[Philadelphia Inquirer via the Consumerist]


Comments

    The instructions for this piece of furniture literally tell you to attach it to the wall. If you do that, it won't fall over. If you don't follow the instructions, yes, of course, it won't function as designed, and may in fact be dangerous!

    Imagine if people just kind of winged it putting the wheel on their car? What do we need 5 nuts, 1 will do, and I'll just hand tighten it. That's good enough right? No? Oh, better recall the car then...

      Yeah it's a bit of an exaggerated move by Ikea. Good for PR I suppose, but just highlights how dumb Americans are...

      There are other sides as always. For instance, if you're in a rental place, you can't exactly attach it to the wall via conventional means. Some good double sided tape might do it if you don't rip paint off in the process. Lowering the center of gravity helps too (i.e. make it bottom heavy)

      Still probably not a clever design. Chest of drawers are assumed to be free-standing.
      I have an old chest of drawers from the 1980s and it has a similar design: All the drawers are the same height and length, which makes them able to topple if the top drawer is heavier and pulled out too far. There was no ability to attach it to the wall.

      I've noticed in older antique designs that the upper drawers are usually smaller, or split in two, while the base has a much larger drawer, and maybe even heavy feet. I seems the toppling issue was solved LONG ago but bad1980s designers liked the look of even drawers...

        If you do that, it won't fall over. If you don't follow the instructions, yes, of course, it won't function as designed, and may in fact be dangerous!
        Except to do that you need to attach a tether/L Bracker to the unit, and a tether to the wall. And for those of us that rent, drilling a hole in the wall is potentially going to mean not getting a full bond back.
        There was no ability to attach it to the wall.
        Technically the way Ikea recommend it is literally a tether strap or L Bracket (I forget which) that you could retro-fit to any furniture.

          I disagree, safety of the occupants cannot be refused. I have a very similar piece from IKEA and I have attached it to the wall. I rent. I asked permission first out of respect even though I know it cannot be refused. Refusal would endem the lessor to liability and more than likely void 3rd party insurance. I have attached safety harnesses to all my bookshelves, TV's & draws because of my little one who likes to climb.

      Mine isn't attached to the wall - my landlord would have a fit - but I've put three small wedges under the front. I'm 95kg, and I can't get it to tip.

      As far as tragedies go, this doesn't compare to the loss of the Billy!

      Yeah and 97% of Malm dressers are in rented houses, where you'll blow the bond if you drill a hole in the wall.

    It probably helped that older drawers were made of hardwood where the frame outweighed the drawers and their contents.

      Not really. A lot of older drawers were made out of heavier or lighter woods, but that doesn't matter so much if the top drawer is as big and as deep as the bottom one: if it's pulled out all the way and has any reasonable weight in it, it will topple regardless of the material, just because of leverage.
      Older drawers though did not have this design- the top drawers are always smaller. And they don't have any special rails so they can't be pulled out all the way anyway.

    The real problem is children climbing up the drawers.

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