Skip to comments.Mattel apologizes to China for toy recalls
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 ...
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.
Again....the bottom line is threatened, so Mattel apologizes to China for China sending cheap dangerous crap.
God forbid you make your toys in the USA and give jobs to Americans.
Then I apologize for not buying any Mattel toys for my daughters this Christmas. That way I might not have to apologize to them.
Mattel was just doing their part to help their Chinese masters “save face”.
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.
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
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.
uh, how about apologizing to Americans for Mattel’s stupidity in allowing chinese sweat shops to make toys in the first place?
Blaming China for making cheap, dangerous crap is like blaming a drunk for drinking. Someone who engages in these dealings should know better.
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.
“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.
Mattel Go To Hell
The U.S. should apologize to Japan for Pearl Harbor. Same logic.
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.
“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”
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.
Perhaps there are no Chinese characters to indicate "Use lead-free paint." ;o)
Found an article about US made toys FYI http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292056,00.html
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
>>>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.
But in this case it was a design flaw....not a manufacturing defect. And Mattel was the designer. Big difference.
What a kowtowing little weenie! Who runs the company anyhow?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.....
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.
See post #36, Other countries won’t subsidize the tooling like China with all it’s cold hard cash will.
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.
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.
Mattel. A formerly great company.
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.
Now, if American companies would just stop hiring a drunk as their chauffeur.
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.
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.
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.
That certainly is an argument to be made.
But surely you cannot believe that Mattel owes Chian an APOLOGY?