A child’s joy is a delight to watch. Most often than not this joy is driven by toys. And a child’s imagination & creativity is often triggered by these toys. And it would be an irony that these toys would cause any damages either mentally & physically to children. Defective toys are the biggest threat that faced by large toy manufacturers across the world. The suitability or a choking hazard warning of the toy is written in all languages from English to Mandarin, but no one can guarantee its safety. Toys are meant for fun and not for danger, right?
It is extremely sad to see that defective toys affect children the most. A sharp edge could cause a dangerous cut. In toys containing small parts, a defect could cause the part to break off and be swallowed by the child. This may either get dislodged in the child’s throat, causing it suffocate or fall through to the intestine, damaging it in the process. Also toys which are coated with paint which may be hazardous or toxic could cause severe damage to users. Many blame the fact that toy manufacturers don’t face stringent quality check procedures, before they launch their products.
The toy manufacturing industry is a huge industry, with over 700 manufacturers and annual revenue of us $ 20 billion. And most of the toy manufacturers are mega corporations with large reputation & brand value. It would just take a single defective toy to ruin their reputation & image, let alone the financial repercussions to be faced from lawsuits. A product liability suit can be filed by a consumer who faces injuries due to such a defect.
Every now and then we see news of a big name toy manufacturer facing legal battles of these forms. From the manufacturer of the toy to his supplier and from the distributor to the retail shop where it was sold, anybody can face legal action. Following are some situations in which a manufacturer could face lawsuits, due to a defective toy:
• when the toys are defective
• when toys are deemed unsafe
• if they contain misleading instructions/labeling and lead to children’s injuries
From age old European toy companies to their cheaper Asian counterparts, many a manufacturer faces the great risk of being involved in a lawsuit due to a defective toy. They must therefore consider the following steps before releasing their product in the market:
• plan for proper quality control checks
• provide correct instructions & warnings on their labels
• to avoid using any toxic substances in the manufacture of the toys.
In several cases, when the manufacturer is aware of their defect, after the dispatch of the toys from their warehouses to retail outlets, the manufacturer retorts to making use of their insurance cover & invoke a product recall. In such a case all consumers would be requested to return their defective toy and it would be returned to them once the issue has been sorted.