Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Mattel Apologizes, Recalls China-Made Toys

Mattel announced it has voluntarily recalled some products made by a contract manufacturer in China that were produced using a non-approved paint pigment containing lead, which is in violation of its own self-imposed standards.

"We apologize to everyone affected by this recall, especially those who bought the toys in question," said Robert A. Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer of Mattel. "We realize that parents trust us with what is most precious to them – their children. And we also recognize that trust is earned. Our goal is to correct this problem, improve our systems and maintain the trust of the families that have allowed us to be part of their lives by acting responsibly and quickly to address their concerns."

The toys affected have the following product numbers: H5570, J6763 , L5202 , H4649 , L3507 , B7888, 90267, H3344, H5569, J6765, L5813, J9451, 93107, G9717, 93492, J0338, H9124, K3580, H4628, H6859, K3571, J0346, 93493, J6537
H9125, K0617, H8236, J1136, 34658, 33662, 93615, J0343, H9186, L3194, H8237, K9287, 90614, 33664, B7554, J0344, H9188, H4187, H8238, L5342, 87946, 90611, B7989, J0345, H2943, L3215, M0524, K2448, 93780, K0730, C6908, H9203, K4139, L0305, M0527, 90609, 93308, 90745, C6911, J9518, K4140, M0351, M2051, 90613, 93307, C6909, C6910, J9692
M0352, M2052, 90612, 39054, B7987, B9620, K3414, J5935, H4650, G5112, J7983, 93068, 39038, J6762, J5936, J2248, M0732, G3825, 33663, H3343.

To address this issue as quickly and effectively as possible, the company says it launched a fast-track recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory agencies worldwide. Mattel is also working with retailers worldwide to identify affected products, have them removed from retail shelves and intercept incoming shipments and stop them from being sold.

"We require our manufacturing partners to use paint from approved and certified suppliers and have procedures in place to test and verify, but in this particular case our procedures were not followed," said Jim Walter, Mattel's senior vice president of Worldwide Quality Assurance. "We are investigating the cause to ensure such events do not reoccur."

Mattel says it is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. While the contract manufacturer has had a good track record on product safety in the past, Mattel says it regards the use of lead paint as a serious mistake. If the company concludes that safety procedures were knowingly ignored, Mattel says it will take appropriate action. Mattel is also conducting a review of the procedures followed with respect to all its products manufactured by vendors in China. If any similar problem is discovered, Mattel says it will continue to take prompt, responsible remedial actions.

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