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Ikea offers refund, fixture for dressers

By Wang Ying in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-02 06:49

Ikea announced on Friday that it would continue to offer a full refund for anyone wishing to return a Malm dresser purchased in China, placating concerns that Chinese consumers were being treated differently than their Western counterparts.

A recall of 17.3 million dressers was relaunched in North America in November after another child's death was connected to the product, but the dressers are still being sold in the Swedish chain's Chinese stores.

Ikea said that customers can return the dressers to the store, or can request that Ikea collect the chest of drawers from their home.

"Since 2006, a total of 2 million of Ikea's Malm dressers have been sold across China," said Zhu Changlai, president of Ikea Retail China, who stressed that their chests of drawers are safe when anchored to the wall.

According to Zhu, in the past two years Ikea has launched a global campaign to increase awareness that dressers can easily tip over if they are not properly fixed to a wall.

"The fixture is as important as fastening a seat belt when in a car," Zhu said.

More than 35 million dressers from the United States and Canada were recalled by Ikea in June 2016, The Washington Post reported.

The same year, Ikea issued a recall of Malm chests of drawers in China under the supervision of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, China's top quality regulator, and its local regulatory division.

A total of 22,000 requests have been made to Ikea in China so far, with more than 8,000 of them receiving refunds and many of the others requesting assistance fixing the dressers to a wall.

Zhu said consumers who want to continue to use the product can get a free kit to attach the dresser to the wall, or request a representative come to their home to fix the drawers for free.

There is no further plan to recall the drawers in China, Zhu added.

It is widely recognized in the furniture industry that dressers can tip over, especially when they are not properly fixed to the wall, and children can easily be hurt, Li Huanyu, an engineer from the top quality regulator, said during an interview with China Quality News.

Ikea said it has no plans to suspend production of the dressers.

wang_ying@chinadaily.com.cn

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