France's highest administrative court said yesterday that authorities must resume registering Daimler vehicles, which were formally banned in late July, Automotive News reports, even though they are still equipped with R134a air-conditioning refrigerant.

The refrigerant is illegal in the European Union and is the reason for this legal battle, which has restricted the registration of Mercedes-Benz A-, B-, CLA- and SL-Class vehicles in France. But it turns out that the French government's use of an EU "safeguard" provision to ban registration of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles, which allows countries to block sales of vehicles that would "seriously harm the environment," wasn't justified. Why? Because the use of R134a doesn't appear to be an immediate danger to the environment, the Paris-based court said.

The new chemical, R1234yf, was made the EU's standard for a/c systems because it emits fewer greenhouse gases into the environment. Daimler says it continues to use R134a because it found R1234yf to be flammable in testing. The German automaker also argues that approval of the use of R134a by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) should be good enough permission for it to sell cars in Europe.

The current state of the situation prompted Daimler to say it expects French authorities to start registering its vehicles tomorrow.


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  • 13 Comments
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh snap the French surrender.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bungling Bureaucrats in Brussels, point scoring French politicians, stubborn Germans, profligate Greeks, Irish, Cypriots, and Spanish, chaotic, corrupt Italians, and that's just a start.....! Why on earth did the UK abandon the proven Commonwealth and Trans-Atlantic alliances, to get involved in the EU debacle is beyond me ! We can only be grateful that John Major refused to join the Euro....
      Brodz
      • 1 Year Ago
      If it's good enough for German testing regulations... it's good enough for everyone.
      Carac
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess no one will get to experience that agony that is the burning pain from your lungs being dissolved by acid combined with the feeling that you're drowning from the Hydrogen Flouride produced by the new refrigerant they wanted to require. "I survived the crash...but oh,no...my lungs are on fire. Silly French green politicos that wanted to ignore the advice of automotive engineers and doctors.
        Baldur Norddahl
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Carac
        They are not required to use R1234yf. The future is CO2 as refrigerant so just start delivering that already. They are just delaying to save money.
          Georg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Baldur Norddahl
          The fun part is ALL french car makers still use the old R134a, the french government gave them a little backdoor that all NEW developed cars in France has to use the new R1234yf and "updated" cars can still use the old R134a, amazingly this year french car makers official have only updated old models in production and no new ones ;) Daimler has made a clear test on a real current production car that the R1234yf is a) easy flame able, b) is toxic if burned c) VW boss Ferdinand Piech claimed over a year ago that R1234ya is **** and that the whole car industry should switch to CO2 based air conditions. Most fun part... Greenpeace critic VW that they do NOT support Daimler in their fight vs R1234ya... Greenpeace also say that R1234ya is the wrong way... Just some noob EU politics recived enough money from Honywell DuPont to push R1234ya into a standart to get a monopoly in the EU ...thanks to Daimler this plan has failed. here are pictures from the real world real car test from Daimler proofing that R1234ya is flame able and toxic http://www.autobild.de/bilder/r1234yf-setzt-mercedes-b-klasse-in-brand-3756819.html
          Georg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Baldur Norddahl
          btw R1234ya is so dangerous that the front window is corrode by hydrofluoric acid..just imagine u breath that...
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Baldur Norddahl
          Toyota joined Daimler in the boycott: http://www.just-auto.com/news/toyota-deutschland-joins-daimler-coolant-boycott_id137477.aspx
          Jesse Gurr
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Baldur Norddahl
          CO2 is an interesting idea. It is cheap and plentiful. Cars and powerplants produce tons of it every day. And if it gets released back into the air, oh well. It is dangerous to humans if there is enough of it to displace the normal air we breathe. Just like you wouldn't like to be in front of a fire extinguisher for an extended period of time. But I doubt that would happen in any normal situation.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Baldur Norddahl
          ?Other carmakers have swapped. The cost is not excessive. Mercedes would have had a lot less hassle if it had just followed along. I am all in favour of viewing companies with some suspicion, but you are making a very injurious accusation without solid evidence. If you have any such evidence, please produce it.
          Baldur Norddahl
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Baldur Norddahl
          @DaveMart - what accusation is it that you claim I am making? VW already announced that they are going with CO2. Mercedes should too. But CO2 is not new technology, so why are they having all this trouble in France? They could just deliver cars with CO2 aircondition, problem solved. Apparently they just want to delay that a little because CO2 is more expensive than using up the stock of obsolete R123a aircondition. And then they keep making a fuss about the R1234yf that they already decided not to use. All I am saying is forget about R1234yf. The replacement is CO2 and nobody has claimed any safety problems with that. In fact you can't get more safe than using CO2. It is harmless if let out. Harmless to both environment and people. If anything it might help suppress fire a little.
          Georg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Baldur Norddahl
          @Baldur Norddahl it is a EU standard so all HAVE to use it... no matter if there are better alternatives ... even if u could use compressed air... if EU Bureaucrats say use P1234ya all have to jump... even if it is completely stupid
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