Tokyo company: Bidets may catch fire

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TOKYO -- Japan's leading toilet maker Toto Ltd. is offering free repairs for 180,000 bidet toilets after wiring problems caused several to catch fire, the company said Monday.

The electric bidet accessory of Toto's Z series caught fire in three separate incidents between March 2006 and March 2007, according to company spokeswoman Emi Tanaka. The bidet sent up smoke in 26 other incidents, the company said.

"Fortunately, nobody was using the toilets when the fire broke out and there were no injuries," Tanaka said. The company will repair 180,000 toilet units manufactured between May 1996 and December 2001 for free, she said. A manufacturing defect is thought to have led to the faulty wiring.

Toto has been a pioneer in high-tech toilets fitted with pressurized water sprayers -- a standard fixture in Japanese homes.

The model is not sold overseas.

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