Mattel has launched an investigation following its recall of almost one million Chinese made Fisher Price toys over fears that their paint contains too much lead, promising it will react "quickly and responsibly" to address the concerns of everyone affected.
The recall - which covers the US, UK, Ireland, Mexico and Canada - affects a total of 967,000 toys. They were produced by a contract manufacturer in China using a non-approved paint pigment containing lead, which is in violation of applicable standards and Mattel's own self-imposed standards.
"We apologise to everyone affected by this recall, especially those who bought the toys in question," said Robert A Eckert, chairman and CEO of Mattel, in a statement. "We realise that parents trust us with what is most precious to them - their children. And we also recognise 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."
Jim Walter, Mattel's, senior VP of worldwide quality assurance, added: "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. We are investigating the cause to ensure such events do not reoccur."
As well as the contract manufacturer involved, Mattel is also conducting a review of procedures followed with respect to all its products manufactured by vendors in China. Action will be taken if any similar problems are discovered.
Individual Fisher Price products and sets were sold at retail stores nationwide from May 1st to August 2007. A full list is published on the company's website, as well as by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.