Qatar authorities have ordered Swedish furniture retailer IKEA to stop selling a particular model of chest of drawers in the country after the product was linked to the deaths of six children in the US and Canada.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) published a notice on its website on Sunday forbidding the sale of MALM cupboards at IKEA’s Doha store and requesting that all such products are removed from the display hall.
It listed six of the MALM models in different shapes and colours that are banned from sale “with immediate effect”. And it urged any customer who has bought the product to return to the store to swap it for another item or get a full refund.
According to the statement, the decision was taken after the ministry confirmed the product in question was the same as that recalled in the North American market following the deaths of six children aged three or younger when the cupboards collapsed on them, according to reports from the US.
The retailer announcement last Tuesday it would recall 29 million MALM dressers from the US market.
However, it said it would not recall MALM furniture in the UAE’s IKEA stores and instead sought to reassure the public that it does not pose a safety risk to consumers when assembled according to the instructions provided.
Qatar’s MEC said it had concluded that the product posed a serious threat to infants’ safety no matter how the cupboards are assembled.