Scandal In France: French Government Blocked The Registration Of 4 Mercedes-Benz Models
|   Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Because Mercedes-Benz decided to ignore a decision of the European Union relating to the prohibition of refrigerant gas used in air conditioning systems in the models A, B, CLA and SL, the French government blocked the registrations for the models in question produced after the June 12, 2013.
Heated discussions in the automotive industry took place in France after the French government blocked the sale of four of the models produced by the German automaker because the refrigerant gas used was not in accordance with European standards.
The question is all the cars from A-Class, B-Class, CLA and SL built after June 12, 2013 was that they were using the refrigerant gas R134a, banned earlier this year by the European Union for environmental causes.

The story of banning the refrigerant gas, R134a, is a longer one. The discussion began four years ago. Then, the European Union announced that all new cars sold on the Old Continent starting with 2013 must avoid the gas R134a and use an alternative for environmental causes. According to representatives of the European Union's environmental committee, the R134a gas reheating climatic risk (PRP) is over 150 (the equivalent of 150 kilograms of CO2), which is contrary to the norms in force in 2013 in Europe.

All other car manufacturers have decided to replace, in some cases since 2008, the refrigerant gas, R134a, with the gas, HFO-1234yf (Dupont and Honeywell product that comes with a PRP value 4). Mercedes-Benz announced in September last year that it is not going to change its cars because the new gas is dangerous, extremely flammable, and emitting toxic gases into the atmosphere where the fire takes place . Even if subsequent tests of the European Union and those of Opel have contradicted Mercedes' position, the Germans continued to use the old gas, R134a, on some of its best selling models.

This week, France becomes the first European country that has taken measures against Mercedes-Benz. The 4 models cannot be registered in the Hexagon, representing 55 percent of total sales of the brand in this market. Moreover, the problem of the Germans might generalize across Europe. Antonio Tajani, the European commissioner for Industry, asked the German Minister to resolve the problem as quickly as possible otherwise an infringement procedure against Germany could be opened.

Mercedes-Benz announced through a spokesman that its position stands and requested a new independent test to clarify if the new refrigerant gas, HFO-1234yf, is or is not dangerous to the health of passengers. The results of this test will come in September and until then neither France nor Mercedes-Benz will give up. If the French government declared that it shoudl comply with the European norms in force, Mercedes-Benz says the dealer network in France has stocks of those models that are eligible for registration, being produced before June 12.

Furthermore, Mercedes asked a homologation for the 4 models at a European level, and the confirmation would override the decisions taken by one country in the case cars approval.

"However, if it turns out that the refrigerant gas, HFO-1234yf, is not dangerous, we will reconsider their position," said a spokesman for Mercedes-Benz.
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