Is Swedish furniture maker Ikea’s response to a defective product concern adequate or abysmal?
Some commentators think that the company has acted ethically and diligently in a safety matter involving many millions of chests and dressers sold to consumers across the United States.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle is one supporter. She states that the company has “worked hard” and is “as least burdensome to the consumer as it could be” in addressing what is concededly a troubling product liability matter.
Others, though, are quick to criticize, especially those who charge Ikea with acting ineffectively in spotlighting a huge problem and taking remedial actions to mitigate it.
That problem is this: the ready potential for many millions of above-referenced chests and dressers to topple over onto children.
In fact, that has happened, with tragic outcomes. The recent death of a California toddler marked what is reportedly at least the eighth fatality of young children who died after from Ikea furniture tipped over on top of them.
Ikea initially responded to the problem back in June 2016, when it issued a massive recall involving 29 million products. That number actually turned out to be too high (products listed that one media account states “didn’t fit the parameters of the recall”), which would arguably support a claim that Ikea at no time sought to minimize the matter.
Recently, Ikea reportedly emailed about 13 million consumers to educate them about the recall, and the company relaunched a recall of more than 17 million chests and dressers just last week.
Ikea customers can return recalled furniture for its full purchase price or, alternatively, have company employees come to their homes and safely anchor free-standing products to a wall.