Announcement impacts many more bedroom resources than the 31 listed in the CPSC notice
HIGH POINT — Last week’s recall of anti-tip restraint kits produced by New Age Industries Co. represents the latest challenge relating to the safety of clothing storage units.
As previously reported, the same plastic restraints intended to anchor units to the wall can become brittle and break, which could in turn result in a tip-over accident that harms children.
The good news is that there have only been two tip-over incidents with no injuries reported related to these tip restraints failing.
And in a further example of industry and government regulators cooperating on a safety issue, the Consumer Product Safety Commission along with the Alliance4Safety, created by the American Home Furnishings Alliance in 2020, worked together on the recall initiative which includes providing free replacement anti-tip kits to those consumers who request them.
The recall also includes the development of a corrective action plan for 31 companies participating in the recall. Among the key areas of compliance on the checklist include stopping the importation of these tip kits immediately and placing a link at the top of the participating company website’s main landing page titled “New Age Recall Information” which should stay on the home page for four months.
Other key aspects of the CAP include but are not limited to the following:
+ Providing a link to the Alliance4Safety recall page which has specific details for consumers regarding the recall.
+ Participating companies also should post information about the recall on their social media pages including Facebook and Instagram, for example.
+ Provide a list to A4S of all the known purchasers of clothing storage units sold with the New Age tip kits.
+ Communicate with distributors, dealers and retailers to whom the New Age tip kits were distributed.
+ If the company participating in the recall operates retail stores, it should distribute communications to the stores instructing that until May 1, 2024, clothing storage units should be inspected to make sure that they aren’t shipped with a New Age tip kit. If it is present during the inspection, it should be replaced with a non-New Age tip kit.
+ Prepare internal customer service representatives to handle consumer inquiries. As A4S notes, consumers can reach out to A4S to receive a free replacement tip kit, but may need further assistance from a participating company to determine whether they have a recalled tip kit.
The list of companies participating in the recall is significant and represents many of those that have been using the New Age tip kits for years, including those made in Vietnam after November 2019. Customers can sometimes find the name of the manufacturer along with a date of manufacture stamp on the back of the unit. Or it may be a name plate or stamp in the drawer on the actual receipt.
But this is where things get a little fuzzy. For one, many consumers won’t necessarily know the name of the manufacturer as retailers sell the product under their own brand.
Plus the recall doesn’t include all bedroom furniture resources in the industry. In fact it’s probably just a fraction of the companies, including retailers, that import case goods direct from overseas and that have sold clothing storage units with the New Age tip kits — hence the millions of tip kits actually being recalled.
That became clear when a number of companies not named in the recall immediately contacted Home News Now for more information on what they need to do to make sure they are taking the right steps to protect children and families from tip-over incidents. That includes making sure that those families receive replacement kits.
According to a list of questions anticipated with the recall, A4S says that if consumers can’t find the date of manufacture or the name of the manufacturer, they can still request a replacement tip kit if the unit was purchased in November 2019 or later and it came with a plastic zip-tie-style tip restraint. Thus consumers can receive the replacement tip kits regardless of who actually made or imported the bedroom furniture.
However, the recall doesn’t provide replacements for retailers or suppliers with inventory of the sets sold with the New Age tip-kits. In this case, retailers and their suppliers will want to communicate with one another to know exactly which inventoried sets have those particular tip restraints. As the kits themselves are relatively inexpensive, some suppliers have said they will provide free replacement kits to their customers themselves.
Thus, while it’s important for retailers and suppliers to communicate directly on this issue, it’s also incumbent upon consumers to make the request and follow through for the safety of their own children.
A statement issued by several consumer and child safety groups the day of the recall announcement on Nov. 11 acknowledged that “the recall of New Age’s zip-tie plastic kits presents another safety challenge.”
“While an important safety tool, furniture anchoring is underused and imperfect,” said Courtney Griffin, director of Consumer Product Safety at the Consumer Federation of America. “It is not a consumer’s burden to make furniture safe and stable. This recall is another reminder that companies selling furniture, televisions and appliances must do everything in their power to prevent tip-over tragedies.”
In addition, CFA and Kids in Danger issued the following recommendations to parents and other caregivers:
+ Check furniture, televisions and appliances. Consumers, especially caregivers, are strongly encouraged to anchor their furniture and televisions to the wall.
+ Consumers should ask sellers whether a piece of furniture meets the 2023 version of the ASTM F2057 standard (codified at 16 CFR part 1261).
+ Remind friends and family to anchor their furniture and televisions to prevent tragedy.
+ Report any incidents involving furniture tip-overs or other tip-over incidents to the CPSC at SaferProducts.gov.