A recent report on the Shandong public television channel found that cheap aerosol cans of air conditioning refrigerant being sold in the Chinese auto trade, labelled as containing R134a, actually contained the banned ozone-depleting CFC R12.
The situation is so bad that it is estimated that around 80% of all the cans marked as R134a in the Chinese auto trade could contain R12. With R12 being immiscible with the POE oil and incompatible with the seals used in R134a systems leaks and potential damage to the compressor are inevitable.
The tv reporters visited car auto shops in Jinan, the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China, buying 12 cans of locally produced R134a car air conditioning refrigerant. These were then independently tested at the Shandong Analysis and Test Centre at the Shandong Academy of Sciences.
Of the 12 cans tested only two were found to contain R134a and one of those was below the officially permitted purity standard.