Over the past decade, Ikea’s tip-prone dressers have killed six children, forcing the retail giant to recall millions of bureaus worldwide and pay at least $96 million in settlements to grieving families.
But last year, when another Ikea dresser no longer met safety standards, the company didn’t rush to take the product off its shelves.
Instead, it kept selling the dresser.
Ikea’s three-drawer Kullen dresser became noncompliant with the furniture industry’s safety standard in mid-August after it was updated to further safeguard against the danger of bureaus falling onto children. Sixteen weeks passed before Ikea took the dresser off the market on Dec. 2. Then the company waited again, until last week, to issue a recall for the product, which federal safety regulators say poses a risk of “death or serious injury to children.”
The safety standard, though voluntary, is drafted by a committee made up of some of the biggest players in the furniture industry. Ikea is an active participant on that committee and was aware of the proposed changes months before the standard officially updated in August.