Canada's biggest toy maker said it was awaiting a court ruling on Wednesday about its fight against claims in a consumer advice magazine that one of its products contained elevated levels of lead.
Mega Brands is seeking an injunction in Quebec Superior Court to stop distribution of Protegez-Vous magazine, which the company claims used the wrong test on its plastic toy building blocks and published misleading results.
A ruling is expected at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday, said Mega Brands spokesman Harold Chizick.
Protegez-Vous stood by the accuracy of its test results, several media reports said. A spokesperson for the magazine was not immediately available for comment.
Shares of Mega Brands sank to an all-time low of C$15.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, before reversing direction in early afternoon, to gain 5 Canadian cents to C$16.10.
Mega Brands said Protegez-Vous should not have used a total lead test on its molded plastic blocks, because that analyses paint or the coating on a product. It should have used a lead migration test, which the company called "the global standard" for uncoated plastic products.
"That's a test that simulates a child sucking on a plastic toy and how much lead will be transferred through the saliva," Chizick said.
The company wants to prevent the sale and further distribution of Protegez-Vous in advance of its scheduled newsstand distribution on Oct. 19. The French-language publication has already been mailed to subscribers, it said.
"While we respect and support Protegez-Vous' commitment to informing consumers about product safety, in this case, they made a very grave error," Mega Brands Chief Executive Marc Bertrand said in a statement.
There have been several high-profile recalls this year of toys made in China that contained excessive levels of lead in paint or involved small, easily ingested magnets.
Health Canada said on Wednesday preliminary results from its product safety lab indicate "no quantifiable total lead content" in the plastic. The toy was sampled from a retail location in Quebec late last week.
"Lead can be tested on objects in different ways and the results can vary greatly," said spokeswoman Joey Rathwell. "So we did our own testing, in the way that we test paint within hard plastic, and we found from our test that there was no lead in the product."
The company said the Canadian Toy Association has agreed the wrong test was used and that safety testing lab Bureau Veritas said the Canadian-made toy meets international safety standards.
Mega Brands is still recovering from an extensive, costly recall of some faulty Magnetix building sets. One child has died and 27 have suffered serious intestinal injuries after swallowing small, powerful magnets in the toys.