Expanded Toy Recall<br> Mattel, Inc. recalls more than 9 million toys due to lead poisoning hazard, choking risk
The Office of the Attorney General is urging Texas consumers to stop using certain toys after Mattel, Inc. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today issued a recall of more than 9 million toys due to lead poisoning hazards and potential choking risks. Texans are urged to remove these toys from their homes and contact Mattel to learn more about replacing the recalled products.|
According to CPSC, a die-cast toy vehicle featuring the “Sarge” character from the movie, “Cars,” may contain surface paints with excessive levels of lead, which could be toxic if ingested. More than 250,000 of the “Sarge” cars, which look like toy military jeeps, were sold nationwide from May 2007 to August 2007. The products were sold both alone and as parts of sets. The recalled toys are marked with “7EA” and “China.” Single cars may have the product number “M1253” printed on the packaging. Cars sold as part of a set bear the marking “K5925.”
Mattel also recalled more than 8.5 million magnetic toys that may pose a choking hazard to young children, including Polly Pocket dolls, Batman action figures, Doggie Day Care play sets, and Barbie and Tanner play sets. More than two million Polly Pocket play sets were recalled in November 2006 over similar concerns. According to CPSC, Mattel has received more than 400 reports of magnets coming loose from the Polly Pocket doll play sets since the initial recall. Three children who swallowed more than one magnet suffered intestinal perforations that required surgery.
A detailed list of the recalled toys can be found in the “News Releases” or “Consumer Alert” section of the Attorney General’s Web site at www.oag.state.tx.us.
Consumers who own these recalled toys or figures should immediately remove the products from children and contact Mattel at (800) 916-4997 or visit the company’s Web site at www.service.mattel.com. Consumers who wish to return the recalled products will receive a replacement toy.
CPSC tests consumer products on an ongoing basis to ensure they are safe. As it did with the Mattel toys, the CPSC issues warnings whenever products do not meet certain safety standards.
While the majority of consumer products are safe when used properly, consumers are encouraged to regularly check the CPSC Web site (www.cpsc.gov) to make sure they do not have items that could pose a danger. Many of the alerts posted by CPSC involve toys, car seats, cribs and other items for children. Parents and friends might be particularly interested in the “Toys” and “Child Products” section of the CPSC Web site, which provides information on recent recalls. The Web site also allows consumers to submit information on a product they believe is hazardous.
Texans are understandably concerned about their safety, particularly that of their children. Consumers can contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or online at www.oag.state.tx.us. Our staff will gladly help consumers find federal, state and local resources that will assist them in gathering critical information about a product’s safety record or reporting their concerns.
Below is a list of resources from several federal agencies that test and regulate the safety of consumer goods:
Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC)
Information about dangerous and recalled consumer goods and household items, including toys, children’s cribs, car seats, smoke detectors, electronics, sporting goods, lawnmowers, gas grills, and many others
Consumer hotline: (800) 638-2772 (TTY 800-638-8270).
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Information about dangerous and recalled foods, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other health-related items
General information: (888) 463-6332
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Information about auto safety technology and alerts/recalls on dangerous vehicles and components such as defective tires, etc.
General information: (888) 327-4236
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Information on food contents and nutritional value, including an online search tool for the profiles of 13,000 common foods
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Information about toxic products, such as asbestos, pesticides, and pollution
General information for Texans: (214) 665-6444
ABOUT CONSUMER ALERTS - The Office of the Attorney General accepts consumer complaints about businesses. When a pattern of complaints warrants intervention, the Attorney General can file a civil lawsuit under consumer protection statutes, sometimes with the result that a company is required to pay restitution to consumers -- see our Major Lawsuits page. However, when a consumer is swindled by a con artist, filing a complaint cannot help. Civil litigation can sometimes put a very unscrupulous business out of action, but often cannot produce restitution.
Individual con artists generally fall under the jurisdiction of a criminal prosecutor -- in Texas, this is the district or county attorney. But even when they are charged and convicted, these individuals usually have spent the money as fast as they have stolen it. A person who is the victim of fraud should report the incident to the police or sheriff. But by far the best thing is for consumers to be aware of fraud, so they are not swindled in the first place. For this reason, the Office of the Attorney General posts these Consumer Alerts about possible scams and schemes that come to our attention through citizen contacts to our office or other sources.