Recalls Our Fault, Mattel Tells China

Toy company admits it bungled designs, recalled too many toys
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2007 7:30 AM CDT
Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang, right, gestures as he talks to Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations during a meeting at the General Administration...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The fallout from Mattel's recall of Chinese-made products took a bizarre turn today as the toy company apologized to Beijing and took the blame for design flaws in lead-tainted toys, AP reports. In a meeting with China's top product safety chief, a Mattel VP called the recalls "overly inclusive" and apologized for hurting "the reputation of Chinese manufacturers."

Falling on its own sword rather than alienate its largest producer, Mattel publicly atoned for "a design flaw" in its manufacturing process. Chinese minister Li Changjiang, battered by recall after recall of products, accused Mattel of maintaining weak safety standards. "I really hope that Mattel can learn lessons and gain experience from these incidents," said Li.