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Ikea bicycle users warned to dismount now as safety issue prompts recall

— Recall could cost between €2.7 and €3.3 million.

Owners of Ikea’s award-winning Sladda bicycles who are based in Ireland are asked by the company to stop using the bicycles and return them to one the company’s Dublin stores for a full refund.

The recall of the bicycle (pictured below) was prompted by a fault which has affected at least 11 people to date with two suffering minor injuries, the company said on its Irish website.

The bicycle sold for between €450 and €550, depending on if you signed up to the company’s loyalty card or not.

Ikea said the drive belt — which does the same job as a chain — has snapped suddenly in those cases. The company said the belt was supplied by a “well-established component supplier”.

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The belt was supposed to offer “good for 15,000km of maintenance-free riding” and the company said at launch that “At Ikea, we do not just make things; we use design to make things better.”

Bicycle industry website Bike-EU.com reported that 6,000 of the Ikea bikes have been sold across 26 countries. Other websites report that about a third of the 6,000 number were sold in the company’s home country of Sweden.

Bike-EU.com also reported how “It is not clear whether Ikea technical service departments are not equipped sufficiently or the technical issue is more than just the replacement of the belt.”

US Consumer Product Safety Commission said on its website that the voluntary recall involves “About 4,900” bicycles. “In addition, about 200 were sold in Canada,” it said.

If the reported international figure and US federal agency recall figure are both correct, less than 1,000 of the bicycles were sold outside of the US and Canada.

In any case, at the time of publication, it’s unclear how many were sold in Ireland.

The incidents where injures happened were reported to have occurred outside North America, the company said on its US website, but it is unclear in which countries users suffered injuries.

In the recall notice on its website for Ireland, the company said: “Ikea has been informed and advised by a well-established component supplier to recall all Sladda bicycles, due to safety issues with the drive belt. The drive belt can suddenly snap, which in turn can lead to falls.”

“For this reason, Ikea is recalling all Sladda bicycles. Ikea has received eleven reports of such incidents, with two minor injuries consisting of bruises and scratches.”

Ikea said that customers that have a Sladda bicycle should “stop using it and to return the bike to any Ikea store for a full refund” — it said that accessories sold as part of the range will also be refunded and that proof of purchase is not required.

Ikea said its Dublin customer service team can be contacted on (01) 541 3302. It added: “Ikea apologise for any inconvenience and want to thank all customers for their understanding.”

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2 comments

  1. That’s strange,they removed it from their catalog over a month ago and the speculation at the time was that the epicyclic gear they.used had been withdrawn by shimano. There may be more to this story.

    Reply
  2. We’ve been here before, I’m afraid. Back in the early 2000s there was a great vogue for the Swedish “Kronan” utility bike which was a copy of a military design from 1942 (a vast warehouse full of them had been discovered when the Cold War ended, the original army-surplus bikes had all been sold off by 1999, and the vendors wished to go on selling them because they were sturdy beyond belief and superb value for money). Unfortunately the new imitation Kronans were built down to the same very low price as the government-surplus originals; so before long purchasers were returning them with all manner of frame failures, wheel rims collapsing, brakes disintegrating, rust damage after a couple of months etc. By the late 2000s they had a stinking reputation and no-one would touch them: in Holland, where they’d been very popular for a while because of their cheapness when sold over the internet, by about 2007 the bike racks and canal bottoms of Amsterdam were full of rusting Kronans abandoned by their owners. So it looks very much like the same story with the Sladda, a good concept but built down to an unrealistically low price with untried, low-cost components. Certainly the belt drive was pushing their luck on a mass-production machine. And what demons impelled them to give it that name? “Sladda” means “to skid” in Swedish.

    Reply

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