Mattel to pay $12m in toy-lead probe
NEW YORK - Mattel Inc., the world's biggest toymaker, has agreed to pay $12 million to 39 states to settle claims it shipped toys tainted with lead paint, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said.
The accord, filed yesterday in state court in Boston, resolves a 15-month investigation of Mattel's Chinese-made Sesame Street dolls, Dora the Explorer accessories, and dozens of other products shipped to the United States last year, Coakley said. The toys never reached store shelves.
Under the settlement, El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel agreed to immediately implement new federal guidelines for reducing lead content in toys by August 2009. The standards cut the permissible lead content to 90 parts per million, from 600 parts per million.
Mattel has "taken steps that go beyond current requirements to give parents greater confidence that the Mattel toys that they buy this holiday season will be the safest ever," the company said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.
Mattel's shares fell 7 cents to $14.53 yesterday.