As European car manufacturers and refrigerant producers continue to bicker over the safety or otherwise of R1234yf, a recent court action in the USA has ensured that American petrol heads will be able to continue servicing their car air conditioning systems when R134a is phased out.
The US EPA had originally issued a rule that would have required anyone to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to the manufacture or processing of 1234yf for consumer use to recharge a motor vehicle air conditioning system based on toxicity concerns. However, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the Automotive Refrigeration Products Institute (ARPI) filed suit against the agency claiming that the studies used to make the toxicity determination grossly overstated human exposure levels.
Following a review of the data submitted by AAIA and ARPI that indicated that there was no adverse impact on consumers from recharging their air conditioner using 1234yf, EPA decided to reverse its decision. The new rule becomes effective on December 2.
Meanwhile, in Europe the EC must now decide whether the German government was right in allowing Daimler to shun the new refrigerant and continue with the banned refrigerant R134a.