In surprise move, toy maker, Mattel Inc, apologized on Friday for damaging China’s reputation by its recall of toys made in China, according to a report from AFP in Beijing.
The vast majority of those products that the company recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel’s design, and not through a manufacturing flaw in Chinese manufacturers, Thomas Debrowski, Mattel’s executive vice president of worldwide operations, told the head of China’s top product quality agency, Li Changjiang, in the Chinese capital, according to the report.
A total of 17.4 million toys were recalled because of loose magnets, which Mattel put down to the design defect. Another 2.2 million toys were recalled over impermissible levels of lead, according to a statement issued by Mattel. The company is quoted by AFP as saying that its lead-related recalls were overly inclusive, including toys that may not have had lead in paint in excess of US standards.
The recall by Mattel fueled an already growing demand for greater controls over import of toys and other goods from China. Another toy vendor, RC2 Corp. of Oak Brook, Illinois recalled in June a number of its “Thomas and Friends” railway toys, as the surface paints on these toys contained leads, according to this release. There were also other reports of sub-standard imports from China including of contaminated toothpaste.
India’s health minister also told Parliament earlier this month that Chinese toys in the Indian market were toxic as they had very high levels of cadmium and lead.
Mattel toy recall: a case for banning imports of Chinese toys