In the continuing saga of Daimler, the EU and banned refrigerants, the German automaker won a provisional ruling from France’s highest administrative judicial body to overturn the suspension of the sale of Mercedes-Benz models equipped with R134a refrigerant in those cars’ air conditioning systems. European Union regulators have banned R134a but Daimler claims that the replacement, R1234yf, can create fire and toxicity safety issues. The French Council of State said that authorities in that country must resume registrations of those Mercedes-Benz models while the case goes on.
The court in Paris ruled that there is “serious doubt” about the immediate environmental threat upon which the French government was basing the sales ban. The French Ministry of Ecology, Development and Energy had blocked new registrations of the models in July, citing EU environmental rules, while Daimler insisted that since the models were type-approved by the German Federal Motor Vehicle Office, or KBA, they can be registered anywhere in the EU.
The models affected are the SL roadster, the CLA four doors, and A-class and B-class compacts and French sales of those vehicles make up about 2% of Daimler’s global revenue. ”We expect the French authorities to start registering our vehicles within the next 48 hours,” Daimler said in a statement.
Eventually, a Daimler spokesman said the company will be switching all of its air conditioning systems to the use of carbon dioxide as a refrigerant by 2017, which it says is ”the most climate-friendly and safest solution.”