The world’s biggest toymaker Mattel has made an embarrassing admission that its recent huge product recall was its own fault. In the space of five weeks this summer Mattel recalled around 21 million toys, at the time saying sub-standard and even dangerous manufacturing processes in its Chinese subsidiaries were to blame.
Now the US giant says it was design faults on its part in most cases. In a rare open meeting of China’s quality watchdog in front of journalists, Mattel’s senior executive vice-president ate humble pie, and apologised to customers and “the Chinese people”.
The recall has damaged Mattel and China’s reputation. Other Chinese products, ranging from tyres to toothpaste to petfood, have put the spotlight on serious quality problems for the “Made in China” brand this year. Unscrupulous factory bosses looking for maximum profits have often been blamed.