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Mattel apologizes to China for toy recalls
http://money.cnn.com/2007/09/21/news/international/bc.china.taintedproducts.ap/index.htm?postversion ^ | 9-21-07

Posted on 09/21/2007 8:00:08 AM PDT by Hydroshock

BEIJING (AP) -- U.S.-based toy giant Mattel issued an extraordinary apology to China on Friday over the recall of Chinese-made toys, taking the blame for design flaws and saying it had recalled more lead-tainted toys than justified.

The gesture by Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, came in a meeting with Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang, at which Li upbraided the company for maintaining weak safety controls.

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"Our reputation has been damaged lately by these recalls," Debrowski told Li in a meeting at Li's office at which reporters were allowed to be present.

"And Mattel takes full responsibility for these recalls and apologizes personally to you, the Chinese people, and all of our customers who received the toys," Debrowski said.

(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bendovermattel; capitulation; china; debrowski; duplicate; globalism; grovel; leadbasedtoys; madeinchina; mattel; savingface; toxicchina
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1 posted on 09/21/2007 8:00:10 AM PDT by Hydroshock
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To: Hydroshock

So Mattel’s design calls for lead in the paint?

If it doesn’t why on earth would they apologize.

Note to self: Never buy from Mattel again.


2 posted on 09/21/2007 8:02:28 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (Truth : Liberals :: Kryptonite : Superman)
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To: Hydroshock

FOR WHAT?

Again....the bottom line is threatened, so Mattel apologizes to China for China sending cheap dangerous crap.

Oh brother!


3 posted on 09/21/2007 8:04:23 AM PDT by servantboy777
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To: Hydroshock
Sure apologize to keep your bottom line low.

God forbid you make your toys in the USA and give jobs to Americans.

4 posted on 09/21/2007 8:04:47 AM PDT by Jersey Republican Biker Chick (RIP Eric Medlen. You will be missed.)
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick; JACKRUSSELL

Then I apologize for not buying any Mattel toys for my daughters this Christmas. That way I might not have to apologize to them.


5 posted on 09/21/2007 8:06:33 AM PDT by Hydroshock ("The Constitution should be taken like mountain whiskey -- undiluted and untaxed." - Sam Ervin)
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To: Hydroshock

Mattel was just doing their part to help their Chinese masters “save face”.


6 posted on 09/21/2007 8:07:09 AM PDT by Dreagon
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To: Hydroshock

MATTEL : putting your childrens health at risk for communist regimes and enemies of our contry for decades.... Now here, have a babie doll or a hot wheels, and enjoy your lowered IQ.

TRAITORS


7 posted on 09/21/2007 8:07:12 AM PDT by HamiltonJay
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To: Red in Blue PA

Mattel...Is this your attempt at political correctness?

Mattel should have been more vigilant in testing their products.

I agree, Note to self: Don’t buy toys made by Mattel, made in China


8 posted on 09/21/2007 8:07:49 AM PDT by kactus
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To: Red in Blue PA

It’s a silly thing called “saving face”. It means everything to many Asians. It doesn’t matter if the apology is a bold face lie.


9 posted on 09/21/2007 8:07:56 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (Search for Folding Project - Join FR Team 36120)
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To: Hydroshock

uh, how about apologizing to Americans for Mattel’s stupidity in allowing chinese sweat shops to make toys in the first place?


10 posted on 09/21/2007 8:08:16 AM PDT by television is just wrong (deport all illegal aliens NOW. Put all AMERICANS TO WORK FIRST. END Welfare)
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To: Hydroshock
This is entirely Mattel's fault. The only reason they chose to use China as a factory is because they can cut corners that other countries cannot. Perhaps if Mattel had bothered to inspect their product before sending it out to the stores, they would not be in the position in which they currently find themselves.

Blaming China for making cheap, dangerous crap is like blaming a drunk for drinking. Someone who engages in these dealings should know better.

11 posted on 09/21/2007 8:10:04 AM PDT by pnh102
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To: Hydroshock

Am I to understand that Mattel’s designs included lead in their products? And how does one recall more lead-tainted products than justified? Shouldn’t they all be recalled? This isn’t your grandpa’s Mattel, that’s for sure. I grew up with Zero-M (One Man Army) fingerprint kit, attache case with hidden barrel, bazooka, Vacu-Form, Creepy Crawlers and Fanner-50 six-shooters and lever action rifles with the stick-on caps and spring-loaded bullets. Cool stuff.


12 posted on 09/21/2007 8:10:15 AM PDT by printhead
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To: kactus

“Mattel should have been more vigilant in testing their products.”

Agreed...not to mention they lost all credibility when they said they had no idea that lead was being used in their toy production in China. That tells me that safety isn’t a big concern for them.


13 posted on 09/21/2007 8:10:36 AM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: Hydroshock

Mattel Go To Hell


14 posted on 09/21/2007 8:15:30 AM PDT by Lexington Green (There ain't no news in the news no more.)
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To: Hydroshock

Mattel stockholders should be quite happy.

/sarcasm
15 posted on 09/21/2007 8:16:01 AM PDT by TommyDale (Never forget the Republicans who voted for illegal immigrant amnesty in 2007!)
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To: Hydroshock

The U.S. should apologize to Japan for Pearl Harbor. Same logic.


16 posted on 09/21/2007 8:16:44 AM PDT by 109ACS (Humpty Dumpty was pushed!)
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To: FreeAtlanta
It’s a silly thing called “saving face”. It means everything to many Asians. It doesn’t matter if the apology is a bold face lie.

I used to have to deal with Chi-com lawyers and attorneys from other Asian nationss all the time in my previous job and you're right. They are all about the face-save, and generally have no scruples about telling an obvious lie in order to do so. That sounds racist; I don't intend to be racist but to agree with you that bald-faced lying is an acceptable and honored business practice in many parts of Asia.

17 posted on 09/21/2007 8:17:32 AM PDT by cammie
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To: Slapshot68

Eggs Ackley!
“Debrowski acknowledged that “vast majority of those products that were recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel’s design, not through a manufacturing flaw in China’s manufacturers”


18 posted on 09/21/2007 8:22:20 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
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To: Hydroshock

I was brought up in the ‘40’s and 50’s. Everything had lead paint on it. Our toys were the real deal. We had tin stoves with metal cooking utinsals, metal doll houses with metal corners, all kind of “killer” toys painted with “killer” paint. I lived in the country where the plants were dusted with DDT. I am still alive and healthy. And, most of the kids I went to school with are healthy as well, not considering aging ailments. So why is America so horrified? Maybe lead can kill you but so can a bus. I am not being hard nosed, I just need some explanation to all the excitement. If we had as much of an outcry against the terrorists, we would have won the war by now.


19 posted on 09/21/2007 8:23:19 AM PDT by Bitsy
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To: printhead
The recalls have prompted complaints from China that manufacturers were being blamed for design faults introduced by Mattel.

Perhaps there are no Chinese characters to indicate "Use lead-free paint." ;o)

20 posted on 09/21/2007 8:25:37 AM PDT by NautiNurse (McClatchy News report: Half the nation's families earn below the median family income)
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To: Hydroshock

Found an article about US made toys FYI http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292056,00.html


21 posted on 09/21/2007 8:29:39 AM PDT by HungarianGypsy
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To: Hydroshock

Sounds like Mattel did not specify the paint specification or it’s certifications correctly...leaving the vendor at liberty to choose the most advantageous paint for themselves.


22 posted on 09/21/2007 8:31:14 AM PDT by griffin (Love Jesus, No Fear!)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Mattel has a supply chain management problem. Nearly every business in China is partially owned by the PLA (People’s Liberation Army).

China likely imposed these conditions on Mattel under duress - apologize or you are going to have a blue christmas, and when we say blue, we mean lead-based blue.

If there is a thinking person at Mattel, they are on planes to Malaysia and Thailand as we speak to see if they can’t taper their manufacturing out of China.

This story, if a savvy business journalist picks up on it, could be the coup d’grace for doing business in China.

The release by Mattel only makes sense in one context. Why in the entire WORLD would a toy maker apologize to a vendor, when it was the vendors violation of their contract that has led to massive goodwill loss on behalf of the client?

There is a gun pointed at Mattel, at least figuratively.


23 posted on 09/21/2007 8:32:29 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: griffin

Figures. Dan Rather wants CBS to apologize (to the tune of millions of $$) to him for allowing him to completely remove any doubt that he has the IQ of a turnip. Matel is dead for me. Toys from them? Foggetabowdit!! I fully believe that their business executives are right down at the bottom of the IQ barrel next to politicians. What the hell is there to apologize about? What part of “NO LEAD” did the Chineese not understand?


24 posted on 09/21/2007 8:35:48 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: Hydroshock
On Friday, Debrowski acknowledged that "vast majority of those products that were recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel's design, not through a manufacturing flaw in China's manufacturers."

A design will specify a particular paint. These are normally listed in the "Parts List" as "Materials and Processes". The "Paint Specification" apparently had no limitation on.... or specified... specific levels. Most likely the lead specs were driven by cost considerations.

Bottom line: It appears the Chinese were just fulfilling their contractural obligations to Mattel.

25 posted on 09/21/2007 8:36:28 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (NY Times: "fake but accurate")
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To: Red in Blue PA

I recently had first-hand experience in getting products produced in China. For the most part, the Chinese have NO idea of our standards of quality, and they are working within corrupt local systems that don’t care. It is essential to have representatives from the US companies over there to keep an eye on things. We received an early partial shipment by air before rest arrived. The early was bad, and the rest was completely unusable. Lesson learned.


26 posted on 09/21/2007 8:40:00 AM PDT by Melinda
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To: cammie

>>>That sounds racist; I don’t intend to be racist but to agree with you that bald-faced lying is an acceptable and honored business practice in many parts of Asia.<<<

How do we know what color you are? No need to apologize at all. All the worry about sounding racist has gone way too far.


27 posted on 09/21/2007 8:48:09 AM PDT by CheyennePress
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To: Melinda
It is essential to have representatives from the US companies over there to keep an eye on things.

But in this case it was a design flaw....not a manufacturing defect. And Mattel was the designer. Big difference.

28 posted on 09/21/2007 8:50:26 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan (NY Times: "fake but accurate")
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To: Hydroshock
The gesture by Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, came in a meeting with Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang, at which Li upbraided the company for maintaining weak safety controls.

What a kowtowing little weenie! Who runs the company anyhow?

29 posted on 09/21/2007 8:51:57 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Oh, Geesh, not THIS crap AGAIN?!?)
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To: Hydroshock

Mattel has only recognized what the rest of us hasn’t, yet. Globalists are failing American citizens on so many fronts it’s difficult to keep track. Meanwhile, we continue to fund China’s military build up against our children and ignore the Fed’s treasonous plan to destroy our unconstitutional fiat currency in order to force us into a world currency.


30 posted on 09/21/2007 8:52:02 AM PDT by Nephi ( $100m ante is a symptom of the old media... the Ron Paul Revolution is the new media's choice.)
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To: Hydroshock
Ok, so Mattel should be the one to boycot and we will never again buy their goods.
31 posted on 09/21/2007 8:53:51 AM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: CheyennePress
>>>That sounds racist; I don’t intend to be racist but to agree with you that bald-faced lying is an acceptable and honored business practice in many parts of Asia.<<<

How do we know what color you are? No need to apologize at all. All the worry about sounding racist has gone way too far.

Beyond that it has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture.

32 posted on 09/21/2007 8:59:01 AM PDT by EarthBound (Ex Deo,gratia. Ex astris,scientia (Fred/Duncan - dream team))
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To: pnh102

Re: This is entirely Mattel’s fault.

No it is not.

The laws in the USA clearly stipulate that lead is not to be used.

I find it impossible to believe that even if this fact was not conveyed by Mattel, that the people running the plant where these toys were made must have known that simple fact.


33 posted on 09/21/2007 9:02:19 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (Truth : Liberals :: Kryptonite : Superman)
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To: RinaseaofDs

I honestly do not know why so much is put into China.

If you are not going to build in the USA, why not do business in Latin America, Thailand, the Phillipines, Sri Lanka? Anywhere but China!

I just don’t get it. I try to avoid Chinese made products whenever possible.


34 posted on 09/21/2007 9:04:48 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (Truth : Liberals :: Kryptonite : Superman)
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To: Hydroshock

I can explain the “apology”...

Mattel WAS ultimately responsible for the problems leading to a recall..

Mattel was lazy, careless and incompetent which allowed this problem to go UNNOTICED until too late.
Mattel had no effective Quality Control Procedures in place.

Mattel erred in placing FAITH in the integrity of Chinese Communists to comply with common product quality or safety specifications without close monitoring...

So — Mattel SHOULD apologize to the Chinese.

Mattel had placed too high a burden on the Chinese, requiring ethics -— and Mattel was too uncaring of the safety of their customer’s children to put in place the necessary and APPROPRIATE quality control measures..

It’s all Mattel’s and Bush’s fault...

< /sarcasm> sort of.....


35 posted on 09/21/2007 9:05:48 AM PDT by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: Hydroshock
I just got the inside scoop on why Mattel is kissing China’s @ss over this, and it’s the tooling.

Mattel has most of it’s molds machined and ran in China, the cost of which is very low to non-existant. The tooling (molds) are subsidized by the Chinese government for next to nothing if they stay there and produce the parts, which is far more lucrative considering the years of making parts vs. the one time cost of machining the tools.

Because Mattel accepted this common practice the literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tooling stays right where it is. China doesn’t have to give them back, and the scuttlebutt number flying around is a 20% increase in every part manufactured by subsidized tooling unless Mattel does EXACTLY what they are told to do.

People just don’t understand how much money of ours is really just sitting over there in assets that will never be released overseas if the price was subsidized for the more lucrative manufacturing rights. Automotive, consumer goods, the list is endless totaling countless billions of dollars.

36 posted on 09/21/2007 9:06:18 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Red in Blue PA

See post #36, Other countries won’t subsidize the tooling like China with all it’s cold hard cash will.


37 posted on 09/21/2007 9:08:56 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Hydroshock
Marxist
Asians
Tell
Toddlers
"Eat
Lead"
38 posted on 09/21/2007 9:09:48 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Abathar

Subsidized tools are nice, but if your company suffers from very public recalls which damage its long established reputation, the subsidies don’t mean a whole lot.


39 posted on 09/21/2007 9:10:35 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (Truth : Liberals :: Kryptonite : Superman)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Ditto.


40 posted on 09/21/2007 9:12:59 AM PDT by milford421 (U.N. OUT OF U.S.)
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To: Red in Blue PA

Yep, those of us in the business here are just shaking our heads and snickering. The chickens have come home to roost for Mattel, they cannot afford to retool their products now, way too much cost out of their pocket. They made their bed, they can lie in it with their commie masters telling them exactly how things will be.


41 posted on 09/21/2007 9:14:21 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Jersey Republican Biker Chick; Hydroshock

Mattel. A formerly great company.


42 posted on 09/21/2007 9:15:54 AM PDT by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: Red in Blue PA; All

I think a letter to the Mattel company to let them know that I will never again purchase anything with their name on the product is in order here. They purchase cheap crap made by cheap labor that is defective and dangerous to those who buy it, and they apologize to those who made the cheap dangerous crap? No apology to the consumer who was placed at risk of health problems from this cheap crap? What a company.


43 posted on 09/21/2007 9:19:21 AM PDT by SoldierDad (Proud Dad of a 2nd BCT 10th Mountain Division Soldier fighting terrorists in the Triangle of Death)
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To: Hydroshock

Good grief.


44 posted on 09/21/2007 9:20:43 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Ron Paul put the cuckoo in my Cocoa Puffs)
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To: pnh102
Blaming China for making cheap, dangerous crap is like blaming a drunk for drinking.

Brilliant simile.

Now, if American companies would just stop hiring a drunk as their chauffeur.

45 posted on 09/21/2007 9:23:33 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: RinaseaofDs

I think this is a classic case of the cat telling the mouse what to say, when to say it and where to say it.


46 posted on 09/21/2007 9:24:40 AM PDT by biff
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To: Red in Blue PA

Because at the time, it made sense. It allowed companies to increase their profit margins without injuring their competitiveness vis-a-vis price.

China has injured their reputation as a manufacturing partner over the last decade, the consumer, who is now directly feeling it in the form of dead pets, lead paint in toys, flip-flops that leave chemical burns on your feet. Their combination of arrogance, incompetence, unreliability, illicit behavior, and their diplomatic stance have been brought to the forefront of the consumer mind.

This allows manufacturers to reposition their supply chains. Placing something on the packaging that says “Not made in China” is actually a viable part of the value proposition.

Had companies tried that before, they would not have been able to compete. They can now. Once Mattel makes their moves, you’ll see then dump China very publicly.

Believe me, everyone in manufacturing is looking at the hell Mattel is going through and deciding that China is not a viable manufacturing partner.

It had to happen sometime. Even Jack Welch admitted that the worst move he made as CEO was investing in China. It’s not like the empirical evidence wasn’t there.

Know what else you are not reading about? How outsourcing to India hasn’t produced the reductions in cost that had been expected or predicted by the hucksters promoting this move. The insourcing has begun again in earnest. I haven’t seen ANY articles about what an unqualified success moving any thing to India has become.


47 posted on 09/21/2007 10:11:14 AM PDT by RinaseaofDs
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To: cammie
It's a culture issue, not a race issue per se.
48 posted on 09/21/2007 10:16:35 AM PDT by steve-b (It's hard to be religious when certain people don't get struck by lightning.)
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To: Red in Blue PA
I find it impossible to believe that even if this fact was not conveyed by Mattel, that the people running the plant where these toys were made must have known that simple fact.

Mattel may or may not have made the Chinese manufacturer aware of this, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Mattel didn't even bother inspecting a product that has its own brand name for possible defects before allowing said product to make it to store shelves. That's why the blame is squarely on Mattel's shoulders.

49 posted on 09/21/2007 11:09:30 AM PDT by pnh102
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To: pnh102

That certainly is an argument to be made.

But surely you cannot believe that Mattel owes Chian an APOLOGY?


50 posted on 09/21/2007 11:10:58 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (Truth : Liberals :: Kryptonite : Superman)
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