It’s Not Just About Refrigerant Anymore


The following story was originally released by Reuters News Service on Friday, July 5.

(Reuters) – France has blocked the registration of some new Daimler Mercedes cars which an EU source said was because of a controversial air conditioning coolant.

French authorities have refused to register Mercedes A-Class, B-Class and SL cars assembled since June 12, even though German authorities have approved them, a Daimler spokesman said.

Usually the approval in France follows on automatically from the German approval.

“We have no explanation for why the registration in France was not yet accepted,” the spokesman said.

An EU official familiar with the matter said that France had blocked the registration because the cars contained (air conditioning) coolant that was not permitted in the European Union.

The person added that the French transport ministry had informed the Commission about their plans this week and that the Commission would discuss the matter at their next automotive meeting in mid July.

French government officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Daimler said in September that R-1234yf, the only air conditioning coolant on the market that conforms to a new European Union directive on greenhouse gases, could be the primary source for a vehicle fire.

It and rival Volkswagen are both developing expensive carbon dioxide-based air conditioning systems in order to avoid what they say is a fire hazard posed by Honeywell and DuPont’s new refrigerant HFO-1234yf, which emits poisonous hydrogen fluoride gas when it burns.

Daimler is violating the EU directive by continuing exclusively to use the non-flammable R-134a. The German authorities agreed to extend a permit already granted before to predecessor models to the new models.

General Motor’s European unit Opel began installing R-1234yf-based systems in its Mokka model at the start of the year.

Opel said it had found no evidence in a crash test on its new Mokka SUV that the air conditioning refrigerant could catch fire in a collision and release toxic fumes.

(Reporting by Hendrik Sackmann and Ilona Wissenbach; Additional reporting by Laurence Frost in Paris; Writing by Jonathan Gould and Victoria Bryan; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)



The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, for more information.

You can E-mail us at . To locate a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Click here  to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 34th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Power Up  will take place January 16-18 2014 at the Sheraton New Orleans.






About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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