Image shows a brown buffet
A Nelson Thin Edge Buffet by Herman Miller sold for as much as $16,000.

Expensive cabinets, buffets recalled as tip-over hazards

Cabinets and buffets sold for as much as $16,000 by Herman Miller have been recalled as “serious tip-over and entrapment” hazards, the Consumer Products Safety Commission announced May 21.

The recall, involving about 2,700 units, also included several models of Lauki dressers sold by Design Within Reach, a subsidiary of Herman Miller.

Herman Miller was formed in 1905 as the Michigan Star Furniture Company and is based in Zeeland, Mich. It manufactures high-quality office and home furnishings and says on its website: “We hold ourselves to the highest safety standards and an understanding that all injuries are preventable.”

On its recall page, the company adds: “The safety and quality of our furniture is of utmost importance to us. While we have received no reports of safety concerns, injuries, or tip-overs, we have voluntarily initiated a recall of the Nelson Basic Cabinet, Nelson Thin Edge Chest, Double Dresser, Cabinets, and Buffet (‘Recalled Products’). This only includes products that were purchased in 2011 or later; vintage Nelson products are not included in this recall.

Company cites change in ASTM standard

“The recall is prompted by a change in a stability standard issued by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), an international organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for the furniture industry, among others.

“The Recalled Products do not meet the new ASTM stability standard that went into effect on August 1, 2019, which means the Recalled Products could tip-over and fall, causing a risk of personal injury or death, particularly to children. As a result, we ask that you please:

  • Stop using the product immediately;
  • Place the product in an area where a child cannot access it; and
  • Email us at or starting Monday February 17, 2020, you may contact Herman Miller at 1-800-338-2107 or using the form below for more information or to request a full refund with a free pick-up of the dresser, cabinet, or buffet.”

HFA urges members to heed safety issues

“We’ve received one report of a tip-over with no injuries or property damage; no other incidents were reported; and we are offering a full refund with free pickup of the dresser and contacting all known purchasers directly, the preferred and most consumer-friendly recall remedy, according to Consumer Reports’ safety advocates,” Nick Butterfield, a media and communication specialist for Herman Miller, said in an email to the Home Furnishings Association.

“We are actively developing and testing solutions for the Recalled Products that meet the new stability standard, and we will contact you as soon as repair options are available,” the company said on its website.

ASTM last year reduced the height of clothing storage units covered by its stability standard from 30 inches to 27 inches.

The CPSC is developing a mandatory standard for furniture stability, which the HFA seeks. HFA urges its members not to sell any clothing storage units that fail to meet ASTM guidelines.


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