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Replacement of a Gas Valve with an Air Vent Port Installed by Tokyo Gas Corporation Ltd.

A product incident has occurred in a gas valve with an air vent port that Tokyo Gas Corporation Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the “company”) installed in a drawer-type cabinet under a built-in cooktop, causing a small amount of gas to leak and ignite. No human injury or property damage occurred in this case.

To prevent further incidents, the company on December 22, 2016, made an official announcement on its website to raise full awareness regarding safe use among consumers who are users of a fitted kitchen with a drawer-type cabinet in which the same product model of the gas valve in the incident is installed (around 450,000 consumers). In addition, it will also sequentially dispatch service personnel to such consumers’ homes to replace the existing gas valve with a new one with no air vent.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) instructed the company [i] to quickly announce precautions about safe use to users of the gas valve subject to the replacement and [ii] to complete the replacement of such gas valves as early as possible. Moreover, through the Japan Gas Association (JGA), METI also encouraged JGA’s member businesses to prevent further occurrence of similar incidents and instructed them to smoothly submit a report to METI concerning policies for addressing cases where they have installed the same product model of the gas valve as those installed by the company.

1. Outline of the incident

On November 23 (Wed.), 2016, in a common house in Tokyo, a product incident has occurred in a gas valve with an air vent port that the company installed in a drawer-type cabinet under a built-in cooktop, causing a small amount of gas to leak and ignite. No human injury or property damage occurred in this case.

The company presumes the cause of the incident to be the repetitive contact of objects stored in the drawer-type cabinet with the gas valve at the consumer’s home, causing the opening and closing knob of the valve to partly open, combined with the dislodging of a screw, together caused the leaking of gas.

When installing, these screws are tightened with adhesives to prevent them from loosening. The company had already found before that the tightness of these screws varies when installing them and that the performance of preventing the loosening of screws by adhesives may degrade due to the storage conditions of the screws and other factors before such installation. However, the cause of the loosening of the screw in the cabinet at the consumer’s home is still unclear.

In addition, the company released three official announcements as follows to provide necessary measures: Announcement on Safe Use of A Gas Valve with an Air Vent Port and Request for Users to Voluntarily Inspect Such Gas Valves, on February 27, 2006; Announcement on Safe Use of a Gas Valve with an Air Vent Port and Request for Users to Voluntarily Inspect Additional Targets Concerning Such Gas Valves, on April 21, 2006; and Announcement on Safe Use of a Gas Valve with an Air Vent Port and Request for Users to Conduct Preventive Measures, on December 26, 2011. And, in response to the incident, the company, targeting consumers who are users of a fitted kitchen with a drawer-type cabinet in which the same product model of the gas valve with an air vent port in the incident is installed, decided to provide the replacement of gas valves with an air vent port with a valve with no air vent.

2. Gas valves subject to the replacement

1) Outline of target consumers

Consumers who had the company install a gas valve with an air vent port in a cabinet from September 1991 to January 2004 and who also are users of a fitted kitchen with a drawer-type cabinet (around 450,000 consumers).

2) Appearance of a gas valve subject to the replacement

3. Actions by the company

The company will raise full awareness of safe use of target gas valves among target consumers by making an official announcement through press release and sending direct mail to such consumers to encourage their safe use, and also will sequentially dispatch service personnel to such consumers’ homes to replace the existing gas valve with a new one with no air vent.

4. Contact counter concerning gas valves subject to the replacement

For further details, see the Japanese language news release.

Contact counter
Tokyo Gas Corporation Ltd.
Telephone: 0120-526-900 (toll free)
Starting date
December 22 (Thurs.), 2016
Service hours
  • Until February 28 (Tue.), 2017:
    • Mondays to Saturdays: 9:00 to 19:00
    • Sundays, holidays and December 31, 2016, to January 3, 2017: 9:00 to 17:00
  • March 1 (Wed.), 2017, onward:
    • Mondays to Fridays: 9:00 to 19:00
    • Saturdays: 9:00 to 17:00 (except Sundays, holidays and December 29 to January 4)

Release date

December 22, 2016

Division in Charge

Gas Safety Office, Commerce, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy Group

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
Copyright Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. All Rights Reserved.