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QVC Puzzle Vehicle Recalled for Lead Paint Violations

Mar 21, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Merchant Media Corporation of Framingham, Massachusetts, is voluntarily recalling Toy Puzzle Vehicle Sets which were sold exclusively by QVC.  Merchant Media Corporation sold about 198,000 of the Toy Puzzle Vehicle Sets through QVC’s televised shopping program, Web page, toll-free shopping line, and Studio Store from September 2002 through December 2007.  The Toy Puzzle Vehicle Sets—which were manufactured in China—retailed for about $20.

Although no injuries have been reported to date, according to the CPSC the surface paints on the puzzle pieces and components contain excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

The Toy Puzzle Vehicle Sets recall includes the 16-piece Puzzle Track Play sets, also known as Battery-Operated Puzzle Vehicle sets.  QVC item number T16876 is printed on the exterior of the brown box packaging.  The sets have plastic puzzle pieces that, when put together, form a track with a battery-operated train, fire engine, or school bus vehicle designed to run on the track.  Miniature street signs, traffic cones, and a battery for the vehicle are also included in the Toy Puzzle Vehicle/Battery-Operated Puzzle Vehicle Sets.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled Toy Puzzle Vehicle Sets away from children and return them to QVC for a full refund including shipping and handling.  Consumers who purchased the recalled set from QVC’s television program or at QVC.com were sent a package by mail containing return information.  Consumers who purchased the recalled set at the QVC Studio store should return the product to the store where purchased for a full refund.  For additional information, contact QVC at (800) 367-9444 between 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. ET or visit the firm’s Web site at www.qvc.com

Exposure to lead in children and unborn children can cause brain and nervous system damage, behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches, mental and physical retardation, and behavioral and other health problems.  Lead is also known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, lead can damage the nervous system.  Last year, over six million toys were recalled because of lead; the highest number ever due to product defects; Mattel Inc. alone recalled twenty-one million toys.  Lawsuits over lead in toys include cases with Fisher-Price; Michaels Stores; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Costco Wholesale; Eveready Battery; KMart; and Marvel Entertainment for Ernie, Elmo, Big Bird, SpongeBob, and Thomas the Train products.  Potentially dangerous toys remained on store shelves several times last year and by the time last year’s holiday season hit—the busiest time of year for toy companies—the CPSC had recalled 75 brands of toys; 39 due to lead exposure.  

The furor over lead in toys also prompted California Attorney General Jerry Brown to sue 20 companies for selling toys with unlawful quantities of lead and failing to warn the public of health dangers.  Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo joined the suit and additional suits were filed by the Center for Environmental Health, the Environmental Law Foundation, and As You Sow.

By late last year, the Chinese government signed agreements to help prevent lead-painted toys from reaching the US.


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