Home & Garden

The recalled chests turned into coffins for 14 kids. Millions might still be out there

Lane Cedar Chest
Lane Cedar Chest

A kid climbs into an open storage chest, as kids do in spaces they can fit into, the chest lid closes ... and locks automatically.

That’s how 14 kids suffocated in Lane or Virginia Maid ceder chests from 1977 to 2015. That’s why, exactly in the middle of that 38-year period, 12 million of the chests were recalled. And that’s also why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a plea on Wednesday, “urging consumers to immediately replace or remove the latch and lock on recalled “Lane” and “Virginia Maid” brand cedar chests.”

The plea said, “CPSC is concerned that millions of these recalled cedar chests remain unfixed in consumers’ homes and continue to pose a danger to children.”

The chests, with the “Lane” or “Virginia Maid” brand name inside, haven’t been made since 1987 and were first in 1912. But they’re exactly the kind of aged furniture that’s a big hit with fans of that genre.

Logos on the chests.JPG
The “Virginia Maid” and “Lane” logos U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Before contacting United Furniture Industries for a free replacement latch and lock, owners should remove the original latch and lock. Then, order the replacement by phone at 877-251-5010 and pick Option No. 4, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Eastern time; by email at LaneRepair@ufifurniture.com; or via the United Furniture Industries website.

“Once received, the latch and lock should be installed immediately to protect children from becoming trapped inside and suffocating,” the CPSC said. “Consumers who previously received a free replacement latch and lock as part of the recall should verify that the replacement parts are installed.”