IKEA's MALM units are dangerous enough to be recalled in the US. Why not here as well?

IKEA stores in the United States are about to get a whole lot busier with the news that the furniture retailer is recalling over 29 million chest of drawers and dressers following the deaths of six children who were crushed by the units falling over.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has said that the MALM units are considered dangerous when not secured to the wall and notes that the warning is applicable to specific children’s Malm chest of drawers over 60cm and adult Malm products over 29.5cm. The recall has come about after the Safety Commission received over 36 reports of children being injured by the units, including six fatalities.

The MALM units are not a new design for IKEA. They have been manufactured and stocked by the flat pack furniture company for over 26 years.


In Australia they are sold with a wall anchor kit which prevents the unit from toppling over. However, some customers have not been using the wall anchor either by choice, because they didn’t have the anchor kit (perhaps due to being given the furniture second hand) or because they’re in a rental property.

IKEA have offered their customers free wall mounting kits for some time after people became concerned about the safety of the product. Customers who believe they are affected by the recall have been offered several options which include refunds, partial refunds or replacement anchor kits.

At the current time the recall is not applicable to customers in Australia, despite the design of the MALM units being the same here as in the US.

A representative of IKEA told Mamamia that IKEA Australia was not undertaking a recall.  The spokesperson said that the chest of drawers in question are considered safe when attached to the wall, as directed in the assembly instructions.

At IKEA, the safety of our products is our highest priority. IKEA provides anti tip restraints and instructions for wall anchoring with all chest of drawers. We spread awareness of the importance of securing furniture on our products and product instructions, on the website and in-store.” IKEA Australia explained.

“IKEA Australia offers customers who have misplaced the tip over restraints included with their chest of drawers additional free replacements which can be picked up in any store or can be ordered by contacting”

So, despite the fact that the design of the units in Australia is exactly the same as the design of the units in the US, and despite deaths and injuries, the units are considered dangerous enough to be recalled by IKEA in the States, but not by IKEA in Australia.