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Mercedes-Benz is known for packing its cars with luxury features, but the rear passengers in some Sprinter vans are getting a shower that they don't expect. The rear air conditioning system is reportedly leaking in some models, and owners are boiling mad. A class-action lawsuit was filed in California alleging that Mercedes knew about the problem and didn't fix it.
Reports that the leaking of a certain type of air-conditioning fluid used in electric vehicles may help cause global warming may be a bit of hot air. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is addressing stories saying that HFC-134a, also known as R-134a, may nullify the benefits of driving electric because of its potential effect on the ozone. The UCS debunks those stories.
We don't have any new supercars to show you today. No new Teslas or SUVs. No new engines or technologies. No mergers, acquisitions or big hires. What we have to tell you about is the coolant automakers are putting into their vehicles. Which may not sound so exciting, but it could mean a big difference for automakers – and for the environment.
What's the secret to long-range urban electric driving in the tropics? Individualized overhead air-conditioning units, apparently. Tum Create, a collaboration between two engineering schools, Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, is currently showing off its Eva taxi at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Before the Frankfurt Motor Show, Peugeot was saying that its Peugeot 208 Hybrid FE Concept would emit just 49 grams of CO2 per kilometer. That's the equivalent of 111 miles per gallon (US) and it was an impressive enough number for the automaker to plaster it all over the side of the show car displayed on the stand. There's just one problem: the car is actually more efficient.
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
The brief alphanumerics R134a and R1234yf are codes for a growing battle between carmakers, states and the EU. The air-conditioning refrigerant R134a has been banned by the EU for being too damaging to the environment, with R1234yf mandated as its replacement. Daimler and Volkswagen say that in their own studies, though, R1234yf can be more dangerous in an accident, potentially starting fires and releasing poisonous hydrogen fluoride gas.
The last time we checked in on the battle of refrigerants, France had enacted a registration ban on some Mercedes-Benz vehicles because their air-conditioning systems were loaded with R134a, which was found to be harmful to the environment by EU tests. Now, other EU states are considering banning the substance, according to Automotive News, as they push for a new refrigerant, R1234yf, to be used in new vehicles across the board.
Another German automaker has rejected the air conditioning refrigerant that's scheduled to be adopted by global automakers in 2017. Earlier this month, Volkswagen lined up with Daimler and BMW to support Daimler's findings from last year that the new refrigerant, called HFO-1234yf, can become flammable.
BMW has joined Daimler and, potentially, Audi in quitting an automotive industry research program studying a proposed new air conditioning refrigerant, the simply named HFO-1234yf. BMW disagrees with the test methods being used. "We do not want to say the test results are wrong, but we are not convinced the methods applied are sufficient to achieve a definitive conclusion that guarantees our high safety standards," a spokesman for BMW told Reuters.
Last week, Daimler announced that it would be sticking with R-134a refrigerant in its cars due to some tests it conducted that showed the newer, more environmentally friendly R-1234yf ignited in certain crash tests. Apparently, this R-134a replacement had already been installed in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, so the automaker is electing to issue a recall for a small number of SLs to replace the refrigerant. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall, this
Just like the R-12 refrigerant that was phased out of cars in the 1990s, it appears R-134a is on its way out, as well, in favor of the more environmentally friendly R-1234yf. While R-134a definitely isn't as harmful to the ozone as R-12 was (which led it to be banned), the newer R-1234yf has a far lower global warming potential than the refrigerant currently used. This sounds good for the environment and all, but Daimler AG may have just stumbled upon an issue with this refrigerant that could th
There are some people who cool their cars down with ice, but General Motors thinks drivers like standard air conditioning. Since the refrigerant used in most automotive air conditioning systems is not good for the environment, GM is proud to announce it will use a better type of refrigerant (called HFO-1234yf) in its vehicles that it says only stays in the atmosphere for 11 days. The standard R-134a refrigerant, GM says, has an atmospheric life of more than 13 years. This is bad because, as Wiki
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that the "cool cars" regulation has been canceled. "Cool cars" tried to reduce the need for air conditioning in new vehicles by mandating that their windows reflect or absorb a portion of the heat-producing rays from the sun. The decision to abort the contentious regulation came after CARB announced a report evaluating the potential electromagnetic interference on certain portable devices such as cell phones, global positioning systems (GPS
Rolling down your vehicle window to get a breath of fresh air may be unnecessary in your next Nissan. The Japanese automaker just announced the development of its new "Forest AC" air conditioning system, an automotive climate control setup designed to control humidity, aroma, and other ambient factors in addition to the temperature and air cleaning features found with current systems. According to Nissan, the Forest AC is the first automotive system in the world created to make driving more comf
The U.S. Department of Transportation and National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) are hard at work developing new ways to make the air conditioners more efficient and reduce the interior tempteratures in our cars and trucks. What's the big deal? Apparently, a whopping seven billion gallons of gasoline are used each and every year in the United States alone to run automotive AC units, which represents 5.5-percent of the country's fuel use. Burning that fuel emits more than 58 metric tons of carbon d
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