EU To Germany: Use The Explosive, Toxic Stuff, Or Else

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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Brussels set the German government an ultimatum: Force automakers to use the R1234yf, or we’ll see you in court. Germany has 10 weeks to answer, writes Der Spiegel, before the EU will file charges.

German carmakers, notably Daimler, refuse to use the R1234yf, refrigerant. They say the new stuff is highly flammable, and when it burns, it produces toxic gases that would violate the Chemical Weapons Convention, would the burning car be used in warfare.

Germany’s Kraftfahrtbundesamt will conduct a series of crash-tests with cars of various makers. Brussels is unlikely to receive an answer before these tests are concluded.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • OldWingGuy OldWingGuy on Jun 14, 2013

    Many years ago (still R12 days, I expect), a buddy and I were pulling into work and a co-workers car was on fire. We pried open the hood and put the fire out. On the way in, I noticed a couple of the local volunteer fire dept fellows standing at the window watching. When I asked why they didn't come out to help, they said when Freon (R12) burns it creates phosgene gas (from WW1 chemical warefare days). So they were trained to just let cars burn themselves out. I'm not sure if any of that is true, but I did thank them for not coming out and stopping us... I realize that R12 is no longer available, and I have no idea if R134a or R-whatever is nasty when it burns. Either way, I can't afford a German car, so I don't think I will be too impacted by this.

    • See 6 previous
    • KrisZ KrisZ on Jun 16, 2013

      @Number6 You should use your imagination. The problem is not the windshield, but human skin. If the windshield can get etched, it doesn't take a genius to see what will happen when this stuff contacts human skin. That's what got MB concerned.

  • Joe K Joe K on Jun 14, 2013

    Do they not have personal injury lawyers in europe?

    • See 1 previous
    • Ash78 Ash78 on Jun 17, 2013

      @krhodes1 I never thought I'd read that last sentence, but it's actually true. The confusion comes with European governments, which are considered more intrusive than in the US. Americans counteract this -- for better or worse -- with a very loose legal system that allows frivolous lawsuits that can be brought against others with impunity. Pick your poison: Expensive, excessive government or greedy, unrestricted lawyers.

  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism&trade; kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate&nbsp; financial adviser&nbsp;at&nbsp; Arthur Andersen&nbsp;and&nbsp; CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the&nbsp; Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of&nbsp; Equality California. [url=][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor&nbsp; Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking&nbsp; Chinese-American&nbsp;official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become&nbsp; Chase Center&nbsp;the home of the&nbsp; Golden State Warriors
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
  • Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.