Germany: Refrigerant Denied By Daimler, Considered Safe By Federal Transport Authorities
|   Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The scandal of the HFO-1234yf refrigerant is almost over, according to those from Automotive News. The publication says that the federal transport authority from Germany, KBA, sent a favorable report to the European Commission regarding the new refrigerant proposed by Honeywell and DuPont.

Thus, an internationally recognized authority in the field from Germany, has considered the new refrigerant for the cars safe to use, which would force those from Daimler to give up the use R134a refrigerant, whereof the representatives of the manufacturer say they prefer it for safety reasons.


Because of Daimler's refusal to use the new refrigerant in the air conditioning installations on its models, France has blocked their registrations, causing a decrease in the registrations for four models in the Mercedes-Benz range. Meanwhile, the sanction was lifted, but this measure required pressure from the government from Berlin and fights in the French courts. At the same time the people at Daimler have been working on a new type of refrigerant based on carbon dioxide, which could eliminate the need to switch to HFO-1234yf, but the system proposed by Daimler is still tested by its engineers.

The KBA test involved four models and three types of tests to determine whether the gas can leave the system in any way in the form of leaks, and whether there is a danger of fire in case of accidents. For the test, KBA used 4 models: Hyundai i30, the Opel Mokka, Subaru Impreza and Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Two of the three tests conducted by KBA revealed that the new refrigerant does not present any danger for use in automotive, but a scenario presented a fire on one if the vehicle tested. KBA officials refuse to reveal which model it was.

In a release the makers of the new gas said: "KBA's tests again demonstrate that using HFO-1234yf creates no serious risks, and as a result it will not pursue action under Germany's Product Safety Act. With the exception of Daimler, there is broad consensus that HFO-1234yf poses no greater risk than HFC-134a in cars. We acknowledge that KBA was put in the unenviable position of devising its own test because of a single automaker's decision not to comply with the EU Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) Directive, which took effect this past January 1."

"KBA's results are not surprising because automobile manufacturers routinely incorporate materials that are far more highly flammable than HFO-1234yf into their vehicle designs, including motor oil, automotive transmission fluid, radiator antifreeze, brake fluid, and compressor lubricant – not to mention fuel."
"Automakers had six years to prepare to comply with the MAC Directive. Those automakers who prepared for the law have proven that they can safely incorporate HFO-1234yf into their vehicle designs."

"Honeywell continues to stand firmly behind the safety of HFO-1234yf, and it will continue to supply its customers to enable them to comply with the MAC Directive. Using these proven protocols, the initial SAE CRP in 2007, which was sponsored by 15 global automakers, including all leading German automakers, major suppliers and 18 international, independent research institutes, found HFO-1234yf to be safe."
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