EU Orders Germany To Cease Use Of R134a Within Two Months

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

After months of investigation regarding the German government’s support of Daimler’s continued use of R134a — in violation of a law mandating use of refrigerants “with a global warming potential no more than 150 times that of carbon dioxide” — the European Commission has given Germany two months to comply with the law, or be fined and taken to court.

Reuters reports the Commission sent its formal request to the Bundesregierung this week, stating that if the government fails to comply, “the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.”

Meanwhile, Germany still believes it is not in violation of European Union law, and that the government would reply within two months to the Commission.

As for Daimler, a representative says the company’s position on the use of R134a has not changed, and is still at work on a CO2 replacement expected to arrive in 2017. Daimler’s stance is based on its concerns over the EU-compliant R1234yf refrigerant made by Honeywell, claiming the alternative creates a toxic gas when burned.

The edict comes a few months after Daimler successfully won the right to continue to sell R134a-equipped vehicles in France, when a ban issued by the nation’s economy minister, Ségolène Royal, was found unjustified.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Turf3 Turf3 on Sep 26, 2014

    The correct term is "refrigerant". "Coolant" is used to refer to materials like Prestone, that carry out heat transfer above standard temp. Hence the "R" in R134a, referring to "Refrigerant".

  • Petezeiss Petezeiss on Sep 26, 2014

    I simply can't fathom a global conglomerate like Daimler AG taking a disruptive moral stance out of concern for the well-being of its customers. That's not how we apes work. Is it switchover costs, projected legal exposure, supplier politics or German resistance to supranational pressure that's the cause of this?

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    • Wmba Wmba on Sep 26, 2014

      @CJinSD "I’m under the impression that it’s only their premium cars that are free of poison gas." And you'd be wrong, as a 5 second google search would show you. Mercedes has been entirely consistent on this matter since 2010. I applaud them, as I 've said every time this subject has come up on TTAC

  • S2k Chris S2k Chris on Sep 26, 2014

    Time for some Solstice, b*tches!! I may be biased in some way on this.... ;)

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    • S2k Chris S2k Chris on Sep 26, 2014

      @Halftruth Solstice is the commercial name of R1234yf