A week ago, we reported on IKEA’s recall of its MALM dressers in America and Canada. The chest of drawers has claimed eight toddlers’ lives and yet, they are still on sale in China. Now, IKEA China has finally made an official statement about the issue. However, it may not be what we want to hear.
Last Thursday, Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision (SMBQTS) talked with the representatives of IKEA China about the issue and IKEA China explained the deficiency of the dressers and its recall policy abroad.
SMBQTS pointed out that recalling is not only an imperative way to prevent and eliminate the damage caused by the products, but also a sign of shouldering responsibility. IKEA should handle the issue properly and safeguard the consumers’ rights and interests.
The next day, IKEA China held a press conference and to most people’s surprise, they claimed they will not be recalling the products in China. Instead, they will continue producing and selling the MALM series.
When asked if IKEA is treating China differently, “Definitely not,” says Zhu Changlai, CEO of IKEA China. “We will do our utmost to rectify the problems. In the past week, we have made over 3,000 calls to remind the customers of the safety risk.”
Zhu also outlines their solution to the issue at the press conference. Those who have bought the MALM products can ask for a free wall-anchoring repair kit with corresponding service. Full refund is acceptable as well if customers no longer want the dressers.
At the same time, sales staff will stress about the necessity of wall-anchoring to the new buyers and ask if they need the related service. “Our solutions have been proved by AQSIS (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China)” declares Zhu.
Zhu also advised that they have received zero report of incidents in China. Moreover, the sales this year seem unaffected compared with that of last year.
“What we want to emphasize is that the dresser has no quality issue as long as it’s well anchored to the wall,” remarks Zhu. “As a matter of fact, any furniture higher than 29.5 inches (75cm) has a tendency to topple over. We should alert people of the problem since the risk is universal.”
Although we have no idea if her statement was to let IKEA off the hook or not, it is certainly time we paid attention to the safety of the furniture, especially for those with young children at home.