That didn't take long. Shortly after a French administrative court gave the French government a ten-day window to reconsider its ban on registrations of Mercedes-Benz A-, B- and CLA-Class cars using the prohibited R134a refrigerant, the government cited an EU directive to formalize banning the sale of the cars. The country's environmental ministry said that registrations "will remain forbidden in France as long as the company does not to conform to European regulations," meaning so long as they do not use the approved R1234yf refrigerant.

Daimler had won the administrative court decision by challenging France's application of a "safeguard" provision in which the EU allows a country to block sales of cars that would "seriously harm the environment." In spite of Daimler's victory, France has cited that very provision as basis for the continuation of the ban.

Daimler got permission from Germany's KBA federal motor authority to keep selling cars with the coolant banned by EU politicians, and is using that national permission as the right to sell the cars throughout Europe. Meanwhile, above that battle, German politicians are asking the EU to let Mercedes sell the cars in France while the KBA does more testing, at the same time as the EU is threatening Germany with repercussions if it doesn't bring the KBA and Daimler into line.

The German carmaker has said France's "argument is absolutely incomprehensible" and has vowed more courtroom action. The three models comprise most of Mercedes' business in France; more than 4,500 vehicles have been kept from being registered, 2,704 of which have already been sold.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      Kimura
      • 1 Year Ago
      Last time Germany and France disagreed it didn't go well for France.
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just wait untill the first persion dies of r1234yf. Until a driver or firefighter gets in contact with fluoric acid and dies in pain. Daimler even called the cars back and changed the refrigerant. they are not dumb, they know that they will be sued if it goes wrong.
      Joe Liebig
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's not blame all the French. It's the SOCIALIST government. And when I say socialist, I mean socialist. Not as in FoxNews-calling-Obama-socialist, but real socialist. It's the old style of industrial politics, of a big government trying to manage domestic companies. Inventing rules, bending the law, creating taxes, all to keep foreign companies out. These socialists are nationalists at heart. Well, the Frogs have already realized their mistake, and the current government has the lowest approval ratings ever. It was an accident really. Sarkozy, you are missed.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe Liebig
        Right, because capitalism has been working really well for the americans...
          derekwilkinson
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          Pure capitalism turned America into a super-power. Regulation always is a good thing, but over regulation will ruin business and the economy. It has been proven time and time again.
          RGT881
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          thequebecerinfrance - America does not have capitalism, it has crony capitalism ran by plutocrats, and that is an enormous difference.
          Joe Liebig
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          almost 2 percent growth now vs France's recession ... Besides France's neighbor to the East seems to be doing fine.
          OptimusPrimeRib
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          So before Reagan became president and regulation was very common things were worse?
          Mondrell
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          \"Over regulation will ruin business and the economy. It has been proven time and time again.\" And in the case of French domestic automakers, compelling and maintaining levels of employment and production that are out of line with demand. Overcapacity NEVER works in the long run.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe Liebig
        Last time I looked, some of the happiest, healthiest, longest living people live in those evil socialist countries where you know, people live in a soci-ety where they help each other and the government helps its people with horrible socialist things like good quality health care and meaningful pensions. Let's not blame a worldwide recession on a successful form of government wheni it was actually caused by an economic virus that started in the everybody-for-themselves putrid extreme capitalism environment of the US .
          RGT881
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shiftright
          It's nice to live in these countries when someone else is paying for your "happiness"
          Scr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shiftright
          Not true. Their healthcare is abysmal and their retirements are drying up as there is no one working to pay for them. Funny how many of the once most socialist countries 9scandanavians) have abandoned that model.
          Joe Liebig
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shiftright
          gosh, all the happiness of now-socialist France is built on the previous governments. The last socialist period wasn't that bad. But now it is f up.
        Pdexter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe Liebig
        Well Finland, Sweden and Norway are socialist countries, like really socialist. Those countries are among the richest and all hold their AAA status and experience strong growth. Socialist doesn't mean much of anything on how the country is doing economically. If anything, Scandinavians are the model that's working and those countries are build around superior education and real competition. You can't buy a school place, you have to earn it by doing better than others.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is how WW3 begins. ;-)
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Huh? It's already 60 years into the 100 year war....and the Germans and Japanese are winning.....
          Shiftright
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          @alkalinebay :Don't ever be fooled into thinking the Germans will ever integrate and assimilate with anyone (see world history)
          alkalinebay
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          There is no more "Germans" left in Germany? How can they win rofl!! They have had much influx of people as the USA which is founded on it. I'm saying its a good thing, one giant happy mixing pot of the world.
          alkalinebay
          • 1 Year Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          For shift light . By your logic America USA is still full of cowboys. Have you been to Germany lately? There is more Muslims in the country than the USA percentage wise. Hardly the Germany of old.
      Sheldon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Serves Germany right for bailing out the Eurozone and preventing the collapse of the Euro. At least Greece and Italy haven't joined France, that would be the ultimate perfidy.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sheldon
        Funny, Germany has convinced the world it's the EU's savior, but fails to bring up the billions in debt forgiven by the EU after its financially debilitating reunification withe East Germany.
          vrmchris
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shiftright
          hello to all, marcopolo, shiftright is referring to the unification of west and east germany in the late 80s which has cost a lot of money to do. and is still costing a lot of euros to make east the same as the west. regards, vrmchris
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      All Germany has to do is threaten to reinstitute the Deutschmark. The EU and the euro would implode, big depression. Probably a pyrrhic victory....lots of Mercedes are sold in the EU and suppliers throughout it.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        Screw Mercedes
        RGT881
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SloopJohnB
        SloopJohnB - you are endlessly correct in your statement. Germany by itself is screwed if it stays within the EU and France's contribution to EU budget while high, is unsustainable given their level of debt.
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Eff. The. Frogs.
      smithr603b
      • 1 Year Ago
      This fiasco is all about who is BOSS.....
      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can someone shed a bit more light as to why SAE sided with France? But interesting thing is that SAE's study on this refrigerant did not include BMW, VW and Mercedes? It sounds like a political move rather than purely environmental. http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/eu-row-over-merc-air-con-coolant-intensifies
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have a solution - Mercedes should sell the cars without refrigerant and let the customers fill it up after purchase.
      Ferd
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now the French will be left to drive their own crappy Peugeots, Citroens and Renaults, but they can breathe better about doing so through the smoke of their Gauloises.
    • Load More Comments