Unsafe Toys from Mattel: Company Failure in Communication

Idec checked today, 16/08, which Mattel started to disclose the “recall” (or call) in the media for some of his toys by present security risks of children.

However, the note published in the written press did not have enough and deserved to highlight the situation and to the immediate identification by the consumer. The information provided also are not clear: to quote the case of the Batman toy, it is not possible to identify the problem, because the term “supply of magnetic cards of the Batman” does not identify clearly the product: they are puppets? Adhesive stickers? The impression is that used the company’s internal language, that is, in fact, unintelligible to the consumer.

It is noteworthy that the term used by the company, indicating that the call was a voluntary measure, must be seen sparingly. After all, only after the wide dissemination of the media in General was that the company has officially announced the problem to Brazilian consumers.

For Idec, the notice was late and not contemplated the right to adequate and clear information provided for in the consumer defense code (CDC) consumers of defective toys.

Understand What Happened
On 14 August, Mattel released the press release reporting that would recall of toys by present security risks of children according to rctoysadvice.com.

According to the company, the problem reaches, in Brazil, 850,000 toys marketed between 2002 and 2007, and refers to all products of Polly with magnets, the shovel of the set Barbie and Tanner and an assortment of magnetic figures Batman “.

The consumer tax procedure to make the exchange of the product is rather bureaucratic. First, it is necessary to register by telephone or email, to receive a manual with models involved in the call and a letter of reply, which will be used to send parts for analysis. Only after the holding of the tests, in the laboratory of Mattel, is that the consumer will receive a term of discharge for a refund or Exchange the product for a similar value. It is not known how long this can last.

Mattel representatives contacted Idec and other protection agencies and consumer protection and that the procedure for the exchange of products is fast, since the consumer identify and send the samples to the address indicated.

For Idec, it is important that the company study the possibility for the consumer to change your product directly to the vendor where you obtained the related toy on the list, rather than undergo the procedure that will be released.

Consumer’s Rights
The consumer defense code States that, in the absence of quality that make the product unsuitable for consumption, it is the duty of the supplier remedy the problem within 30 days. If the problem is not resolved within that period, the consumer may require, at your choice: the replacement of the product for another of the same species; the immediate refund per product in the same species, under the same conditions of use; or the proportional reduction in the price.

Whereas the procedure adopted by Mattel, the Idec considers it her duty to solve the problem within 30 days, from the date on which the consumer came into contact with the company (evidently discounted the calendar days between the receipt by the consumer, the letter reply, and the date that it is posted). In case of accident of consumption-as the accidental ingestion of a magnet, for example-the CDC determines that it is the duty of the supplier (in this case, Mattel) to repair the damage suffered by the consumer and, regardless of the existence of fault.

Since November 2006, this is the third time that the company carries out a recall. The first case occurred with Polly dolls, whose magnets came loose and were ingested accidentally by three American children, causing serious health problems. Because they are small-the size of a watch battery-can magnets, for example, be ingested or inhaled, causing choking hazard or other injuries. In addition, if eaten two or more magnets, these can attract, obstructing or puncturing the bowel.

The second security problem took place the ink usage with excessive lead in toys from Fisher-Price line. According to released by Mattel, in this case the toys with problems not be commercialized in Brazil.

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