Mattel Inc. and its subsidiary have been hit with a $2.3 million civil penalty for producing toys made in China with unsafe levels of lead paint.
A government safety official says the companies are paying the fine after recalling two million of their popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and other toys in 2007.
The toys were recalled after testing found unsafe lead levels in paint used to make the toys.
The official said it was the biggest federal fine for a lead paint violation. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the fine before it was announced, spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mattel and its Fisher-Price subsidiary were among dozens of manufacturers that yanked millions of Chinese-made toys from store shelves around the holiday shopping season in 2007.