Mattel apologized publicly to "the Chinese people" for a series of toy recalls, taking responsibility for the majority of the defective products, the Wall Street Journal reported. Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, Thomas Debrowski, met Li Changjiang, director of China's product quality agency, to listen to criticism from the Chinese official before reading out a prepared statement. "It's important for everyone to understand that the vast majority of those products that we recalled were the result of a design flaw in Mattel's design, not through a manufacturing flaw in Chinese manufacturers," he said. About 18 million toys, the bulk of the recalled items, were recalled because they contained tiny magnets that are potentially lethal if swallowed. Some 2.8 million toys were also recalled for concerns over excessive levels of lead paint. Mattel said it had recalled more toys than necessary over lead-paint concerns, and that testing had found some of the recalled items to be safe. Many observers have said Mattel's public apology is extraordinary, as it exposes the company to litigation.
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