If you are an automaker, and you know that something can blow up and poison your customers, then you are in deep trouble if you put that stuff in your cars. In Germany, you are in in deep Scheiss if you don’t. Daimler may have to pay high fines if it continues using an old refrigerant in 2013, instead of the new HFO-1234yf, of which Daimler says it can fry and kill you. If Daimler continues to resist, it may lose the European type certification for the A and B Class. Which could kill the company.
This according to a legal opinion, commissioned by a department of the German parliament. The paper has been leaked to Germany’s Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung. Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt, the agency that administers the type certification in Germany, says that nobody is forcing Daimler to use HFO-1234yf, “as long as the European rules regarding global warming potential are being met.”
Catch-22: Only HFO-1234yf meets the new standards, in effect as of January 1, 2013.
Daimler is not alone. According to the FAZ, Subaru, Mazda, Hyundai-Kia, Renault, Fisker, and Toyota have received type certifications for cars that use HFO-1234yf.
A group representing German firefighters demands that HFO-1234yf is outlawed. The group worries that burning refrigerant can emit substances more dangerous than chemical weapons, Auto Bild says.