Mattel CEO to face Congress, report says

Senate and House panels set to have CEO Robert Eckert testify on the threat posed by toys from China, company's reporting process.

NEW YORK ( -- Mattel and its CEO will face questions from House and Senate panels in the coming weeks about procedures for alerting federal regulators about hazardous toys and the problems of recalls of products made in China, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the consumer protection subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is due to hear from Mattel CEO Robert Eckert on Sept. 19.

He is also expected to testify before the financial services and general government subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12.

Mattel has announced three major recalls of toys from China since Aug. 1. But the company has twice been penalized for not passing reports of safety defects to the government in a timely manner during Eckert's tenure, the paper reports. The nation's No. 1 toy manufacturer says "vagaries" in the reporting regulations caused the delays in reporting, and in settlements between Mattel and the agency, the company denied any wrongdoing.

The house panel has voted to hike to $10 million from less than $2 million the maximum fine the commission can levy on companies, the paper reports.

The paper reports that there is likely to be a bipartisan push by lawmakers for tougher enforcement practices and improved identification of toys containing lead paint and other dangerous defects. Top of page