Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hot Seat

Human folly can take many forms. Newly cordial relations between Japan and China are being threatened by a spate of exploding toilets called "Washlet units" that Japanese are blaming on shoddy Chinese workmanship, according to the Times of London.

The scandal centres on Toto, the largest Japanese manufacturer of electronically controlled lavatories and the company responsible for the notorious Washlet — a unit with an automatically warmed seat and a function that washes and then blow-dries its user’s fundament.

In a move destined to sour business relations across the East China Sea, Toto is now blaming substandard Chinese parts for the debacle. Although beloved by Japanese themselves, the controls of the Washlet — a formidable armrest bristling with a baffling array of multicoloured buttons, lights and dials — have long been the bane of unsuspecting foreigners. The problem most usually arises from a confusion between which of the flush and bidet controls is correct.

The machine’s various functions require it to remain connected to the electricity mains around the clock. In certain models, a stretch of poorly insulated wiring can become scratched, short-circuit and play havoc with the heater that warms the bidet water to a precise temperature. This can cause the Washlet’s plastic seat first to melt, then ignite.

Well that's ruin Sino-Japanese relations for sure.


Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

heheh.. oriental slapstick humor? :)

4/17/2007 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Wow! And we thought WE had problems!

4/19/2007 10:29:00 AM  

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