A fourth child fatality has been associated with one of the MALM chests included in Ikea's June 2016 recall, federal officials reported Friday.
The furniture store had previously recalled 29 million chests and drawers because they posed a serious tip-over hazard. A company spokesperson told CNBC that since the recall, more than 150,000 anchor kits have been distributed and about 130,000 refunds have been issued for recalled chests and drawers. Those figures are in addition to repair kits issued after the July 2015 repair program was announced, the company said.
The fourth fatality associated with the recall was a 2-year-old boy from Woodbridge, Va., who died in September 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The fatality occurred after an unanchored MALM 3-drawer chest tipped over, trapping the child between the dresser drawers.
In addition to the four deaths, Ikea has also received reports of 41 tip-over incidents involving the MALM chests and dressers. Seventeen of those incidents resulted in injuries to children between the ages of 19 months and 10-years-old.
In a statement to CNBC, Ikea offered its condolences to the family in Woodbridge and said it is committed to taking the lead in addressing the challenge of furniture tipping.
"To us, the safety of our products is our highest priority," the company said. "This additional incident further underscores the need to properly secure chests of drawers to the wall with the included restraints per the assembly instructions."
Details of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall can be found on the agency's website.
Ikea's full statement is below:
We offer our sincere condolences to the family in Woodbridge, VA affected by this tragedy. IKEA recently learned of this tip-over incident – which took place in September 2011 – through the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). The information we have received indicates that the chest of drawers was not attached to the wall and reportedly involved in this incident was a MALM 3-drawer chest – which was recalled by IKEA in June 2016.
Accidents related to furniture tipping over are a serious home safety issue for the entire home furnishing industry and IKEA is committed to taking the lead in addressing this challenge. To us, the safety of our products is our highest priority. This additional incident further underscores the need to properly secure chests of drawers to the wall with the included restraints per the assembly instructions.
All IKEA chests of drawers are safe when attached to the wall as directed. Any consumer with a recalled chest of drawers in their home that is not anchored to the wall should stop using it immediately. Consumers can request a free wall anchoring kit in-store or on IKEA.com. Consumers can also return the product to the store, or request at-home pick-up if they are unable, unwilling or uncomfortable attaching the unit to the wall or returning it themselves.
Regarding the effectiveness of the recall, chests of drawers that are covered by the recall have been packaged with wall attachment restraints for decades. If customers have followed the assembly instructions and attached their chests of drawers to the wall, there is no need for them to participate in the recall. However, they are welcome to return their chest of drawers if they have any concerns.
It's also important to note we have taken extraordinary measures and invested significant resources to raise awareness of this recall. This recall received more media coverage and more impressions than any recall we've done in the past, garnering 3.57 billion media impressions in the three days after the recall announcement was made. In addition, we invested in a paid advertising campaign to reach consumers.