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by Tim Beissmann

More European Union nations may join France in banning the sale of certain Mercedes-Benz vehicles containing a prohibited refrigerant after the 28 member governments agreed to take action against the defiant German car maker.

Reuters reports the European Commission confirmed on Tuesday that some Mercedes-Benz vehicles contained refrigerant R134a – a chemical it banned for sale from the start of 2013 – affirming France’s earlier decision to block registrations of cars using the substance.

The French government outlawed the sale of Mercedes-Benz A-Class, B-Class and SL-Class vehicles produced from July after Daimler refused to stop using R134a in those vehicles.


Representatives from each of the EU member states – including Germany – met in Brussels yesterday to discuss the issue and agreed that no vehicles should be exempt from the regulations.

“Member states acknowledged that, regarding the vehicles which do not conform with EU law, corrective measures shall be taken to bring the vehicles into conformity including the withdrawal of those vehicles already sold on the market, as it has already been done by a member state,” the European Commission said in a statement.

R134a is known to contribute to global warming and is 1000 times more damaging to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Every other European car maker has made the switch to its replacement, HFO-1234yf. Daimler believes HFO-1234yf poses an increased fire risk, however, and at this stage the German government has not enforced the EU ban on the car maker.

The German government has been given until August 20 to either reverse its decision or explain its reason for failing to enforce the ban.