SHARE
COPY LINK

FRANCE

Court orders France to lift Mercedes ban

German car manufacturer Mercedes was celebrating on Tueday after France's top administrative court overruled a contentious government decision to ban the sale of some top-end models on environmental grounds.

Court orders France to lift Mercedes ban
Photo: DPA

The ban, which revolved around the use of a certain coolant, had flared into an international row.

The Council of the State said registrations of certain A, B and CLA-class models, frozen since June, should be resumed in two days.

“It does not appear that if these cars are put on the road in France…they will pose a serious threat to the environment,” the ruling said, ordering the government to pay Mercedes France €3,000 in damages.

The court said the decision had cost Mercedes France dear affecting 60 percent of its sales in the country and 40 percent of its earnings. A total of 4,500 vehicles had been hit by the ban.

Mercedes welcomed the ruling saying it “re-established an equilibrium in competition among European carmakers.”

France’s environment ministry had initiated the move in June, saying the cars use an air conditioning refrigerant the European Union believes emits excessive greenhouse gases.

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler, which appealed against the ban, has insisted on sticking with an older coolant as it claims studies have shown that the new liquid catches fire more easily and puts cars at a greater risk of explosion in a crash.

Since January 1st, European Union rules demand that car makers use a cleaner refrigerant, deemed less polluting than older products.

Daimler says it will continue with the older product with the hope that “in the next few years” a better version will be available.

The makers of the new coolant reject Daimler’s claims but in Germany, the auto giant was given special permission to keep using the older gas.

Japan’s Toyota recently said it will not use the new coolant in its Prius Plus, Lexus, GS and GT86 models sold in Europe. But Daimler says no country besides France has raised an objection to the continued use of the older coolant.

AFP/tsb

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COURTS

Woman on trial over killing spree at Potsdam care home

The trial began on Tuesday of a woman accused of stabbing four residents to death and severely injuring another at a German care home for disabled people where she worked outside Berlin.

Tributes laid where four people were killed at a care home in Potsdam.
Tributes laid where four people were killed at a care home in Potsdam. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Soeren Stache

Named as Ines Andrea R., the 52-year-old suspect is charged with four counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder following the bloodbath at the Thusnelda-von-Saldern-Haus facility in Potsdam, Brandenburg, in April.

The victims, two women and two men aged between 31 and 56, were found dead in their rooms after being stabbed with a knife, with police saying they had been subjected to “intense, extreme violence”.

Ines Andrea R. is also accused of trying to kill two further residents and of seriously injuring another, a woman aged 43.

She was detained immediately after the incident and placed in urgent psychiatric care due to what prosecutors described as “pertinent evidence” of severe mental illness.

Around 100 police officers were involved in recovering evidence at the scene.

READ ALSO: Women in custody over killings at Potsdam disabled home

The Thusnelda-von-Saldern-Haus, run by the Lutheran Church’s social welfare service, specialises in helping those with physical and mental disabilities, including blind, deaf and severely autistic patients.

It offers live-in care as well as schools and workshops.

Around 65 people live at the residence, which employs more than 80 people.

Germany has seen a number of high-profile murder cases from care facilities.

In the most prominent trial, nurse Niels Högel was sentenced in 2019 to life in prison for murdering 85 patients in his care.

READ ALSO: Missed chances: How Germany’s killer nurse got away with 85 murders

Högel, believed to be Germany’s most prolific serial killer, murdered patients with lethal injections between 2000 and 2005, before he was eventually caught in the act.

Last year, a Polish healthcare worker was sentenced to life in prison in Munich for killing at least three people with insulin.

SHOW COMMENTS