June 6, 2009

Mattel, Fisher Price pay $2.3M lead fine

U.S. toymaker Mattel Inc. and its Fisher-Price unit will pay a $2.3 million fine over lead paint allegations, officials say.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday it reached a settlement with the El Segundo, Calif., toymaker in a dispute that stemmed from a 2007 series of product recalls, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Under the deal, the companies deny the allegations, in which the CPSC contended Mattel knowingly imported and distributed up to 900,000 non-compliant toys between September 2006 and August 2007, including the Sarge toy car and several Barbie accessory toys, the Journal said.

It also said Fisher Price imported as many as 1.1 million toys with lead-based paint between July 2006 and August 2007, which were subsequently recalled.

This penalty should serve notice to toy makers that CPSC is committed to the safety of children, to reducing their exposure to lead, and to the implementation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, passed into law in 2008, CPSC Acting Chairman Thomas Moore said in a statement.