SEOUL, July 19 (Korea Bizwire) — IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant, has stopped selling Malm dressers that have caused several child deaths in North America, but will continue selling them to customers in Korea. Given the company’s position, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) on July 19 demanded that IKEA Korea change its policy, as the company’s treatment of North American customers and Korean customers differs significantly.
There have been numerous reports of Malm dressers manufactured by IKEA tipping forward and causing injuries and deaths to children, and in response to customer concerns, the company decided to recall 29 million dressers in the United States and 6.6 million in Canada.
The KATS recently requested that IKEA Korea report the current distribution status of Malm dressers and provide details about a refund plan, and it was found that IKEA Korea will offer refunds to customers, or provide them with hardware necessary to attach the dressers to the wall. Unlike in North America, the Malm dressers will continue to be sold at IKEA in Korea.
IKEA’s response has been deemed as an inadequate measure by the KATS, which is demanding that IKEA Korea withdraw the product from the market completely or offer free wall-anchoring services for all customers who make purchases of the affected product. It also criticized IKEA Korea for not taking active steps to inform customers of the situation.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will soon announce a follow-up plan to conduct a safety study of the dresser to prevent any life-threatening accidents involving children in Korea.
By M. H. Lee (email@example.com)