In a gesture to assuage China’s injured pride in advance of an on-site visit by the CEO, Mattel apologized to China for the “design flaws” responsible for most of this summer’s toy recalls. [AP]
Parading before you today will be two familiar panels: The first will feature acting Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore, who skipped out of last week’s hearing for a dentists appointment. The second will be devoted solely to Mattel CEO Robert Eckert.
Testifying before congress today, Mattel CEO Robert Eckert demonstrated the size of the aperture it’s easier for a camel to pass through than for a lead toy manufacturer to get into heaven. [NYT]
Today is a big day for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Starting at 11am, the Chairman of the powerful Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will kick off a series of hearings examining the toy industry’s seemingly magnetic attraction to lead paint. Durbin, whose Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s budget, will grill toy industry representatives, consumer advocates, and members of the government over plans to protect America’s children from the dangers silently lurking on toy shelves by establishing an independent testing regime.
Accessory Toys (lead), Fisher Price Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys (lead), Fisher-Price Recalls Geo Trax Locomotive Toys (lead), NettoCollection “Moderne” and “Loft” Cribs (entrapment, strangulation), d-Scan Jubee Bunk Beds (collapse). Mattel’s CEO appeared in a new apology video, featuring shots of people in lab coats going through the motions of testing toys (we like how the guy in the beginning nods his head as he writes down a figure, nice lil piece of overacting there).
Toy-giant Mattel will recall yet more toys covered in deadly lead-tainted paint, the AP reports.
Mattel is being investigated (again) by the CPSC over the timeliness of its latest batch of recalls. According to the WSJ, Mattel knows it is required to inform the agency within 24 hours of receiving information about a defect that could cause injury—it just doesn’t do it because it thinks its not fair.
Eighty-five percent of the roughly 20 mln toys that Mattel recalled were due to design faults, Li, the director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, told reporters.
The El Segundo, Calif., toy maker sued Global China Networks LLC in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday over its Web site, http://www.chinabarbie.com. Global is a limited liability company organized in Florida and maintains a post-office box in New York, according to the complaint.
A lawsuit filed Monday asks Mattel to pay for lead testing to determine if children have been exposed to lead from the millions of recalled toys.
Mattel CEO Bob Eckert posted a video apology for the millions of lead-tainted and faulty magnet toys they were forced to recall. In it, he apologizes, has himself and his company take full responsibility for the issue, and outlines specific new steps to insure product quality and step up inspection processes. This is the best corporate apology video we’ve ever seen.
Today Mattel expanded their lead paint recall to include 253,000 die cast “Cars” toys. In addition, Mattel expended a 2006 magnetic toy recall to include about 7 million other toys.
Mattel is probably going to take another toy off the shelves due to overleaded paint, reports the AP and a tipster. The announcement of which toy could come today.
The owner of a Chinese toy factory identified by Mattel as the maker of the lead-tainted toys involved in a million unit recall committed suicide Saturday afternoon inside his factory, according to Chinese officials, the AP reports. According to the article, dishonored officials commonly commit suicide.
China’s General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) blamed Mattel for the recent lead contamination of nearly 1 million toys, saying that the toy maker did not adequately supervise their suppliers. Mattel’s oversight safeguards are widely regarded as the “gold standard” for manufacturing in China. From the LA Times:
Chinese officials have announced that they will “severely” punish the vendors responsible for the recent lead-tainted toy snafu. That leads us to ask, what do they consider severe punishment? Remember what they did to the director of the food and drug agency for accepting poisoned toothpaste bribes? And the new state-sponsored video game “Incorruptible Fighter”, where players get to execute corrupt officials with magic or weapons, is so popular that it’s been downloaded over 100,000 times.
Mattel is blaming a potentially bankrupt cardboard box vendor for supplying 967,000 toys covered with lead paint. The toy maker publicly identified the Lee Der Industrial Company in Guangdong province in the hopes that other toy makers will take their business elsewhere. The AP tried to call Lee Der for comment, which resulted in this odd exchange:
Two weeks before announcing the recall of nearly 1 million toys tainted with toxic lead paint, Mattel was featured in the New York Times as a role model, the “gold standard” for companies manufacturing goods in China. The Chinese Poison Train’s ability to sneak past Mattel’s fortified defenses highlights the tremendous difficulties faced by well-meaning American manufacturers trying to police their supply chains. Mattel spared no expense to ensure the safety of their products.