Mattel Chief Executive Robert Eckert apologized Wednesday for three huge recalls this summer of lead-paint tainted toys made in China and said the company supports strengthening the U.S. government's consumer safety agency.
Mattel has beefed up its testing and safety systems and is doing everything it can to maintain the trust of parents, Eckert said in prepared remarks to be given to a Senate subcommittee.
"On behalf of Mattel and its nearly 30,000 employees, I apologize sincerely," Eckert told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government.
Toy safety and the role of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have come under increased scrutiny after recent recalls of millions of Chinese-made toys, mainly due to excessive levels of lead.
Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, has introduced a bill that would increase the maximum penalty for companies failing to quickly report hazards to the CPSC to $20 million from $1.25 million.
CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord told the subcommittee the agency boosted its surveillance and enforcement activities with Chinese toy imports and was encouraging the toy industry to develop its own testing programs.