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Bay Area Green Toys Recalls Mini Vehicles Due to Choking Hazard

Local maker of toys made from recycled plastic milk jugs says it received 10 reports of wheels and hubcaps coming loose or detaching from the vehicles, but no reports of injuries.

Green Toys Inc., the fast growing, Mill Valley-based manufacturer of children’s toys made of recycled plastic, said Tuesday that it has voluntarily recalled more than 50,000 of its Mini Vehicles toys, citing a choking hazard.

Company officials said they self-reported the issue to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada after receiving 10 reports of wheels and hubcaps detaching or loosening from the Mini Vehicles. There have been no reports of injuries.

The products were manufactured at Green Toys’ facility in San Leandro between March and June. Green Toys had eight employees at its office on Miller Avenue and contracts out its manufacturing.

“We reacted very quickly to this issue,” said Robert von Goeben, the company’s co-founder. “When it comes to safety, it’s about how quickly you respond to an issue like this. This was the right thing to do.”

Von Goeben said the recalled products had only been shipping for a few weeks and that many of its retailers hadn’t even put them on their shelves yet. The company had shipped approximately 50,000 Mini Vehicles in the U.S. and another 5,000 to Canada.

Green Toys are sold at dozens of stores throughout the Bay Area, including Whole Foods Markets and Cole Hardware, as well as a number of stores in Burlingame, including Green Party Goods,and . The cars cost about $5 each or $18 for the set.

Van Goeben said there was a “systemic issue with the assembly of this product, and the issue was isolated to this particular product.” 

The Mini Vehicles, which are made from recycled plastic milk jugs, are sold in yellow, green, red, white and blue as individual cars and in four-car sets.

That includes the Mini Vehicle Set, the Mini Ambulance, the Mini Red Fastback, the Mini Police Car, Mini Taxi, Mini Vehicle Assortment and Mini Fastback Set. The manufacturing date is represented by a circle with an arrow in the middle that can be found imprinted on the underside of the front of the car. Cars with an "I" etched into the underside of the car next to the date stamp are not part of the recall, the CPSC said in a statement.

CPSC officials said consumers should take the product away from children immediately and contact Green Toys Inc. to receive a full refund. For more info, contact Green Toys toll-free at (888) 973-3421 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or go to the company's recall website.

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