Daimler Loses Another Round With EU Over R1234yf, Ban on Sale of R134a Equipped M-B Cars Likely to Spread Throughout Europe
When we last reported on France banning some Mercedes-Benz vehicles because the company refuses to use the now mandated R1234yf refrigerant, representatives from all 28 EU member states were scheduled to meet with the EU’s Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles to discuss the matter, particularly as it regards the sale of M-B vehicles in the 27 other EU countries besides France. That meeting has since taken place and according to a memo issued by the European Commission, those representatives have confirmed that all new vehicles sold throughout the EU must use R1234yf, and that any vehicles with the now banned R134a must be withdrawn from the market in all EU states. The dispute is over the fire safety of the new refrigerant. R134a was banned because it is considered a greenhouse gas.
The EU’s statement from its Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles seems to criticize Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Motor Transport Authority), upon whose certification of Mercedes-Benz A-class, B-class and SL cars built since June, Daimler has been relying to sell the cars in Europe outside of Germany. “National authorities” and the manufacturers they regulate were told they must find “effective solutions to ensure the safety of European citizens” and the goals of climate objectives and a fair, competitive market (emphasis added).
Since the statement from the EU tells member states that “corrective measures shall be taken to bring the vehicles in conformity including the withdrawal of those non-conforming vehicles already sold on the market, as has already been done by a Member State,” Mercedes-Benz can probably expect sales of those cars to be blocked across the continent.
Full EU Commission Memo below:
Brussels, 17 July 2013
The Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles supports the European Commission approach to the MAC affair
The Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles met today in a very constructive and positive atmosphere. The European Commission and the competent authorities of the 28 Member States discussed the current situation regarding the implementation of Directive 2006/40/EC on mobile air conditioning (MAC Directive).
There was a general consensus that, within their respective responsibilities, the national authorities and the vehicle manufacturers will have to find effective solutions to ensure the safety of European citizens, the achievement of the climate objectives of the Directive, and the good functioning of and fair competition in the internal market, in full respect of the requirements of the EU legal framework.
Member Stats acknowledged that, regarding the vehicles which do not conform to EU law, corrective measures shall be taken to bring the vehicles in conformity including the withdrawal of those non-conforming vehicles already sold on the market, as has already been done by a Member State.
The European Commission is committed to continue discussions with Member States in the coming weeks with a view to finding appropriate solutions.
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- Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
- Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
- ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
- Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
- ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
DuPont and Honeywell must be paying the govt. a huge sum to put up that fight .
One way of looking at this is that escalation is in Mercedes favor. If Germany gets involved it will no longer be an obscure technical argument but rather a story about euro infighting. That will get mainstream coverage and Dupont/Honeywell (& GM etc) will have to explain toxic gas byproduct to the public at large. Enthusiasts don't take well to this product and we are the most likely group to tolerate additional risk for some technical gain. Now the chemical companies could have a problem in all their prospective markets.