BEIJING: Chinese government officials have claimed that most of the toy recalls ordered by US-headquartered giant Mattel have been due to design faults, rather than problems with manufacture.

The 20 million-plus products already called back were suspected of excess levels of lead in their paint, but Chinese investigators say just 15% of the toys were at fault in this regard.

On the other hand, they claim up to 80% of the toys contained small magnets which could be swallowed: a design issue and thus Mattel's responsibility.

Chinese media quote Wei Chuanzhong, vice minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine: "In a letter to Li Changjiang, head of the AQSIQ, an executive from Mattel admitted the company should take full responsibility for the recalls."

Data sourced from People