By on May 6, 2014


France’s Conseil d’Etat announced Monday that it has overturned the government’s ban of a handful of Mercedes-Benz vehicles over parent company Daimler’s refusal to cease usage of R134a coolant currently under phase-out by the European Union.

Reuters reports the ban — issued by France’s ecology minister Ségolène Royal — was overturned after the court found her order unjustified, stating the vehicles affected did not show “a serious threat to the environment.”

Though vehicles sold in the EU were mandated to use R1234yf beginning in 2013, Daimler cited potential, unacceptable safety issues with the new coolant. Instead, the automaker continued to use R134a in its A-Class, B-Class, CLA and SL models, which were the vehicles banned from being sold in France. Daimler plans to replace the outgoing coolant with CO2 systems by 2017.

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13 Comments on “French Court Overturns Sales Ban Of Daimler Vehicles Using R134a...”

  • avatar

    “Daimler plans to replace the outgoing coolant with CO2 systems by 2017.”

    Please elaborate. CO2 as a new refrigerant to replace R1234yf?

    • 0 avatar

      CO2 as a refrigerant (R-744) is not a new refrigerant. It is in fact an old refrigerant that was in use before R-12. It operates at a higher pressure so it requires a more robust system, but it operates more efficiently than R134a in most environments. CO2 systems have already been developed so it’s not like they are reinventing the wheel.

    • 0 avatar

      Carbon Dioxide works, is entirely non-toxic, and has way less Global Warming Potential than 1234yf (Several times greater than CO2) or 134a (Hundreds of times greater than CO2).

      The main issues of course – higher pressure. A lot higher pressure. So that’s the pump, the seals, the heat exchangers, the lot, that need to be tested for it.

  • avatar

    I believe it’s a competing technology with R1234yf. It’s referred to as R744. Nice summary here:

    Gotta be safer from a flammability standpoint. I’m just slightly weary of a complex high pressure CO2 system in an enclosed garage.

    • 0 avatar

      “I’m just slightly weary of a complex high pressure CO2 system in an enclosed garage.”

      Why would that be, exactly? CO2 is not poisonous, although it can dilute the oxygen in the air and because it is nearly twice as dense as air it can settle to the floor and displace air causing CO2 buildup in your bloodstream. Assuming you weren’t asleep on the floor in your garage you should either be above the height of a dangerous concentration or notice the effects before succumbing.

      Plus a CO2 HVAC system might hold what, 4 lbs or so of refrigerant? That’s roughly 2 cubic meters, or 70 cubic feet of gas at atmospheric pressure. Settling into a 10×20 garage space that would be a bit over 4″ high off the floor assuming a clear space and the refrigerant entirely releases. Hardly seems dangerous to me.

      • 0 avatar

        Good points, you’re right that the volume shouldn’t be dangerous. I was thinking in terms of CO2 fire suppression systems in enclosed spaces which can be very dangerous.

        From both environmental and thermal efficiency standpoints, R744 seems to make a lot of sense.

      • 0 avatar

        I believe CO2 is toxic at high enough concentrations–not just an asphyxiant. I don’t know if 4 lb in a garage is enough to be a hazard, but I suspect it’s less of an issue than having a gasoline link.

  • avatar

    carbon dioxide? intentionally concentrated and installed in the front end of cars where it could be easily released into the atmosphere and awaken ManBearPig?

    tell me it can’t be so!

    I hope Daimler has bought all the carbon credits they need from AlGore.

  • avatar

    I propose a heat activated release valve for the CO2 system. If your car catches fire, the A/C puts it out. Genius!

  • avatar

    That’s a nice photo of a Toyota Matrix with redesigned grille.

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