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By Jason Simpkins
Mattel Inc. (MAT) issued an apology to China, Friday, taking the blame for recent product recalls which the toy company admits were design oriented. Mattel also said it recalled more lead-tainted toys than justified, according to an article by .
Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, Thomas Debrowski, apologized to Li Changjiang on behalf of the company in a meeting that was open to the media.
"Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls," Debrowski said, "and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys."
There were three separate recalls this summer, involving more than 21 million Chinese-made toys.
The recalls came at a time when China was particularly vulnerable to matters of product safety. Concerns were personalized in August, when the co-owner of the company that supplied the lead-tainted toys to Mattel committed suicide by hanging himself.
The high-profile nature of the recalls sparked outrage in China, which viewed the negative publicity by the U.S. media as an attempt to sabotage Chinese exports. Mattel does a lot of business in China so this deep wound needed treating. The world's largest toy maker, Mattel has been in China for 25 years. Approximately 65% of its toys are made there.
China manufactures more than 80% of toys sold in the United States. The value of Chinese toy exports is approximately $7.5 billion.
Two Canadian business professors, Paul Beamish and Hari Bapuji, released a report earlier this month which found that flaws in design are the most common reason for toy recalls. Approximately 76% of the 550 U.S. toy recalls since 1988 can be attributed to design flaws.
News and Related Story Links:
Mattel Apologizes to China Over Recall.
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