Mattel has voluntarily recalled more than 18.6 million toys according to an official statement released this afternoon.
This second recall in two weeks comes after internal investigations by Mattel found a range of toys that may release small, powerful magnets and a line of die-cast vehicles with impermissible levels of lead in the paint.
The magnetic toys were manufactured between January 1st, 2002 and January 31sst 2007. In the UK alone, 1.9 million products are being recalled and include 53 Polly Pocket toys, 11 Doggie Day Care toys, four Batman toys and one accessory to a Barbie toy.
The Sarge toy from the Cars die-cast vehicle line was manufactured between May and August this year. Some 430,000 of the cars are being recalled. 49,000 of those are from the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
According to Mattel, the vehicle line was manufactured by its contract manufacturing facility, Early Light, in China. However, Early Light then subcontracted the painting to Hong Li Da Plastic Cement Products, which used paint from a non-authorised supplier.
Jim Walter, senior vice president, world wide quality assurance, Mattel said a “strengthened” three point check system is now in place: “First we’re requiring that only paint from certified suppliers be used and requiring every single batch of paint at every single vendor to be tested. If it doesn’t pass, it doesn’t get used.”
Mattel is also increasing un-announced random inspections and testing every production run of finished toys as part of its new check system.
“Since our November 2006 magnet-related recall, we have implemented more robust magnet retention systems and more rigorous testing,” Walter continued. We are exercising caution and have expanded the list of recalled magnetic toys due to potential safety risks associated with toys that might have loose magnets.”
Robert A Eckert, chairman and chief executive officer, Mattel added: “The safety of children is our primary concern and we are deeply apologetic to everyone affected.”