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Daimler snubs coolant after explosive tests

Published: 02 Jan 2013 16:39 GMT+01:00

New European rules regarding refrigerant fluid in car air conditioning systems were due to come into force at the start of 2011. The older chemical mix was to be phased out and replaced by a new, more environmentally friendly one – known as R1234yf.

And while the rest of the automobile world geared up to make the swap, Daimler refused. It said cars using the new fluid burst into flames during crash testing, presenting “huge risks for those inside and helpers at the scene of a crash,” a Daimler spokesman said.

The German car giant won two years' grace as the company making the new refrigerant had problems delivering enough of the product, meaning that the swap over was pushed back – until now. Cars certified from the end of 2012 should only use the new coolant, while it must be phased out of older cars from 2016.

Talks between Daimler, EU officials and the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) are still continuing, but Daimler is sticking to its position that the new fluid simply is not usable, the spokesman said.

Daimler's A and B class cars, as well as their sporty SL model were all certified should use the new coolant fluid. But the firm's spokesman said it was not expecting to face fines because “cars exploding during crash tests opened up a whole new situation.”

BMW has also said that following Daimler's discovery, it was thinking about calling for more tests. But unlike Daimler, it has not had any cars certified since the EU's decision.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:59 January 2, 2013 by Craptastic
"Daimler's A and B class cars, as well as their sporty SL model were all certified should use the new coolant fluid."

"But until Daimler, it has not had any cars certified since the EU's decision."

OK, what is up with the "English" on this English news site and who let the comma fairy run around dropping commas in unnecessary places?

Good job there. Your mom would be so proud.
20:10 January 2, 2013 by Perusing_preusser
Craprastic, I was going to write exactly that. Terrible. The comma fairy was accompanied by the hyphen genie. Editor, did you let this one through? I assume English is not the author's first language - an excellent first draft if so but you are not doing him or her any favours by letting this through. This isn't a failure of language so much as a failure of editorial standards.

The article fails to prove its own headline - are Daimler cars certified for the new coolant or not?
03:41 January 3, 2013 by Eric1
Some EU socialist elite sipping a martini at a party thinking of ways to hinder business. The biggest threat to the environment is politicians merging natural science with socialist dogma.
05:50 January 3, 2013 by rfwilson
Now isn't that just typical!

The Do-Gooders are out there solving a "problem" that doesn't exist, and in the process have created a much greater problem!

Good on Daimler for saying "NO!".
06:36 January 3, 2013 by pjnt
This horrible English nightmare should have been picked up by the editor.

That said, good on Daimler for saying no if their cars go boom when using a new system. I am all for improving the environment but not at the cost of volatile autos!
12:42 January 3, 2013 by raandy
Daimler made a prudent decision not to use this potentially flammable liquid in their autos.
14:24 January 3, 2013 by zeddriver
Now after reading this. Go and read the article about the postman.

The government on one hand. Tells their auto industry to make cars using an explosive refrigerant to "help the environment". And then tries to punish a postman for being good at his job.

I guess all the stories of German efficiency are just that. Stories. Or possibly history lessons of a bygone German era when efficiency and intelligent engineering was rewarded.
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