DUHGERMANY: The influential German green group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) has accused the EU of ignoring the safety risks of R1234yf and has called for a Europe-wide ban on its use.

The move follows the European Commissions decision to commence infringement proceedings against Germany for its failure to enforce the MAC directive. Under the legislation all new type-approved cars must use an air conditioning refrigerant under a GWP of 150. German manufacturer Daimler has refused to use the new, “mildly flammable”, low GWP alternative refrigerant R1234yf after its own tests questioned its safety.

The DUH, which recently conducted its own tests that suggested large amounts of toxic hydrogen fluoride (HF) could be produced in the event of a fire in a road tunnel, questions the closeness of the EC to refrigerant producers DuPont and Honeywell.

“Contrary to the recommendation of the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) Antonio Tajani refuses to carry out its own security checks with R1234yf,” said DUH national manager Jürgen Resch.

“So the arguments and statements of the two patentees for R1234yf and the Association of Automotive Engineers SAE can be found in publications of the directorate-general for enterprise and industry again. Therefore we have provided a formal request for access to documents of the EU Directive on Environmental Information, to check how close the ties of R1234yf manufacturers Honeywell and DuPont in Brussels with the central management of the commission.”

The DUH has called on German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt to take urgent action, including prohibiting the entry of R1234yf vehicles in underground car parks and a drastic tightening of safety regulations for workshops.

 

EC issues proceedings against Germany – January 23, 2014

R1234yf safety argument escalates – January 22, 2014

 

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