Last month, Steelcase recalled its Amia office chair as recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The design of the control mechanism under the chair apparently leaves open the possibility that the pivot pins could fall out. If that happens, users could find themselves unceremoniously dumped on the ground. There are no reports of anyone getting hurt, so the recall of 11,000 chairs is a precaution. Users don’t actually need to return their chairs. They can simply contact Steelcase or their local dealer for a set of adhesive covers that will keep the pins firmly in place. No tools are required for this DIY fix-up job.
News of a product recall for a design flaw probably has loyal Steelcase fans almost falling out of their chairs in surprise. However, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Just one year ago, Steelcase had to recall its Cachet chair because of a seat support that was prone to cracking. One customer did end up with a back injury when a chair broke during use. Again, Steelcase opted for correcting the defective part of the design over full replacement – except for individual consumers. So, the cost of fixing the problem has probably been easily absorbed by this office furniture giant. But they should be careful that January doesn’t become known as annual “Steelcase recall month”!