June 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM ET
The world's largest luggage maker, Samsonite, said Tuesday it is recalling 250,000 'Tokyo Chic' brand luggage worldwide after tests by Hong Kong's consumer watchdog on the handles found elevated levels of compounds that could cause cancer.
The tests on the luggage were done by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, which said it found high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the handles on four samples of the luggage. The luggage is sold mostly in Asia under the American Tourister label.
Samsonite's own tests, done at independent labs in Hong Kong and Germany, found the handles did not pose a health hazard, but decided to go ahead with the recall to allay consumer concerns.
"Despite our absolute conviction that the Tokyo Chic luggage is completely safe, we have today removed Tokyo Chic luggage from our stock everywhere it is sold in order to immediately replace the side-carrying handles with new generation handles," said Ramesh Tainwala, president for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
Samsonite said it will replace the handles.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.