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Design flaws cause most toy recalls

September 16, 2007|From Times Wire Services

The majority of U.S. toy recalls since 1988 were caused by design flaws, not manufacturing problems, a study by two Canada-based researchers has concluded.

The study of 550 recalls found that 76% stemmed from design problems such as using small parts. About 10% were caused by manufacturing defects such as lead paint or poor craftsmanship, the researchers reported.

Recalls involving Chinese manufacturers are rising, business professor Paul Beamish and assistant professor Hari Bapuji said in their study. Last month, El Segundo-based Mattel Inc., the world's biggest toy maker, recalled about 20 million products made in China. Chinese-made items were tied to about 95% of all U.S. toy recalls this year, they said.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will have a record number of recalls this year if it continues at the pace set in the first eight months, Beamish said.

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