too much static
Full-service gas stations--practically nonexistent in the U.S.--are still the norm in Japan. As companies have been experimenting with self-serve gas stations, they've encountered a problem: increasing numbers of accidental fires. Authorities speculate that static electricity sparks flammable gasoline vapors, leading to seven fires breaking out since April. Oil companies and consumer groups are teaming up to educate motorists on how to operate gasoline pumps safely.