About ten months ago, we reported on Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz raising warning alarms about a newly approved refrigerant for automotive air conditioning applications, called R1234yf. The new coolant was approved for use in the European Union because it has a reduced negative effect as a greenhouse gas when compared with its precursor, R134a. However, Daimler and VW contended that the new coolant posed a serious risk in crash situations, where it could not only pose a primary fire risk, it might also emit poisonous hydrogen fluoride gas when ignited.

The EU claims that its testing has revealed R1234yf to be safe, and the refrigerant is now the only approved air conditioning coolant in the region.

Nevertheless, some Mercedes-Benz A-Class, B-Class and SL-Class cars, assembled later than June 12, were shipped to France for sale after being certified by German authorities. Rather than register the cars, as is typical, French authorities have apparently refused to approve the R134a-filled vehicles.

A Reuters report indicates that Daimler "has no explanation" for why the vehicle registration was stopped, while citing French authorities as acting because of the banned coolant. The article also points out that Daimler and Volkswagen are both hard at work on "carbon dioxide-based" AC systems, as a complete end-around to the problem.


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  • 34 Comments
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Years Ago
      More nonsense from the EU bureaucracy and the usual self-serving contrariness of the French government. Thank God, John Major kept the UK from joining the Euro ! The tail is now wagging the dog ! It's time that the UK and Germany decided to reign in, and reform the vast, expensive and inefficient bureaucracy that Brussels has become.
      BG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, my ancient BMW still used R-12, and leaks about a half pound a year (I feel so guilty about the ozone hole over Chile). I wonder if the French would let me drive it around? And the French have a bazillion happy chubby cows. Don't they release methane all the time?
      sfast
      • 2 Years Ago
      This story has me confused. Is France not letting cars with R134a in or cars with R1234yf in? I have been following this on AB over the last few months and it really seems to me that the big chemical makers that are backing R1234yf are going to do what they can to get what they want. That is way more money then they would get for R134a.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sfast
        [blocked]
      RGT881
      • 2 Years Ago
      French people are good people, but those in charge of the government are absolute lunatics. And so this raises the point of what's the point of France other than a nice country to vacation in? It's the Jesse Jackson of Europe.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      World War III!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        aatbloke1967
        • 2 Years Ago
        Americans really are utterly insidious.
          aatbloke1967
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Call me realistic, but someonce called Juan is most likely to be from the U.S.
          MONTEGOD7SS
          • 2 Years Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          Call me crazy, but someone named Juan might not be from the U.S.
        Pdexter
        • 2 Years Ago
        Well they are second largest economy in Europe, world 5th largest economy, larger than UK for example. As far as welfare state goes, Nordics are the meaning of welfare and you have couple of world wealthiest countries there with Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the only EMU country (other Nordics don't belong to EMU) with AAA raiting with Finland.
      paqza
      • 2 Years Ago
      Excited about the CO2 bit and bemused by the French here. Another example of the EU doing stupid **** without thinking through the consequences. If VW and Daimler say they're not going to use the new coolant because it CATCHES FIRE, I'm totally okay with that. It's better that this come up now than after people die as a result of political/legislative incompetence. However, France is clearly taking the other route, noting that it the coolant is safe (albeit under very limited, controlled conditions) when there is obvious evidence to the contrary.
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @paqza
        Reading the article again...France is beatching about the R134A that MB put in some cars, apparently?
      Mike Schader
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't know about anybody else, but I don't think I'd like to have a car with flammable, poisonous refrigerant. Some places use propane as refrigerant, I don't want that either. I don't see the difference between the two. Burned to death is burned to death.
        RGT881
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike Schader
        Well I wonder who are the producer of R134a and R1234yf? I am wondering if some conglomerate who owns the producer of R1234yf is attempting to bend the laws to favor his subsidiary?
          Tom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @RGT881
          wouldnt be surprised
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah, as if R12 or R22 aren't HF emitters when heated.....dunno about R134A.
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