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.

  • F1orce


    I am against these new refrigerants, they do a terrible job at cooling the cabin..

    • Band-Ding Ow

      Ze Germans, Zey are verrückter Haufen von Menschen!

      • Capt Sum Ting Wong

        No wondah we fry too low. You no anerstan dilections in Kolean!!! You Gelman!!!!

    • Igomi Watabi

      Yes, you shouild be able to flout the law and the established knowledge on these things, so you can keep cooler.

      • F1orce

        So you rather risk burning to death by explosion?

  • RHCM

    I’ll choose the planet over the coolest cabin, especially when I’m paying premium money.

    I agree the replacements should be good but I fully support strict laws on this type of hidden environment harming stuff.

    It just sounds like Mercedes cost cutting to me.

    • Phil

      Maybe you should be familiar with the facts before jumping to conclusions. Look up the results of Mercedes Benz testing of this refrigerant, because there are significant safety concerns around it. They had already started using it in advance of the new laws when crash testing resulted in an immediate fireball as the mix of HFO-1234yf and compressor oil sprayed onto the hot engine, releasing toxic hydrogen fluoride gas which proceeded to eat into the windscreen glass. Two thirds of their crash tests had that resulting explosion, which led Mercedes to a recall on the 1300 vehicles they had already shipped. So no, it’s got nothing to do with cost cutting.

      The dangers of hydrogen fluoride have been documented, you can read all about it at the US EPA website. Add this to the risks of vehicle fires, Mercedes is being reasonable in their approach. The German carmakers (VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche) have agreed to develop CO2 based refrigerant systems in place of HFO-1234yf due to the safety concerns.

      • lolman

        Oh Mercedes always giving us advanced stuff, euro 10 standards before they are even released and such… all that is cheap bubblegum with a nice sticker that makes your pockets dread. And safety, eco concerns, didn’t German premiums objected latest co2 eco measures. But I guess thats the way Germans go, nice plastics and outside perception, timing bomb inside.

  • Dave W

    Is the German govt turning a blind eye on the issue?

    Why’s Daimler acting like a petulant child who doesn’t get what he wants? They know the refrigerant is banned but still keep using it? I bet their non European market models will keep using it.

    • Nerdbustermd

      You do realize the safety of the new refrigerant is NOT fully known. Daimler showed that it can explode in certain situations and other carmakers like VW and BMW agree.

      • Hugo

        Why are people complaining about MB? At least they are caring about buyers safety – BMW made the switch anyway. Some people will do anything for a few more sales in the short term.

        • F1orce

          If given a choice between the very good 1990’s refrigerant and the new one. I’d choose the former every time, why? Much better cooling and much safer.

          • Hung Low

            Not totaly true, when filling the newer refrigerant into a older a/c system not developed for it, it does not work as well but the new gas filled in a modern car with a modern a/c system has no issues and cool just as well or better. I don’t think air conditioning in many new cars have a cooling issue due to the gas. The whole system needs to accompany the type of refrigerant used.

      • Igomi Watabi

        Perhaps they need to invest in making it safer, rather than arrogantly telling the rest of the world to fuggoff.

      • Dave W

        So that gives them the excuse to keep using banned substance?

    • DAVIDZ

      because they are german and that how they have always acted

      • Phil

        and these are the French, and this is how they act. Their own carmakers (ie Citroen, Peugeot) going down the gurgler had no influence on their decision, I’m sure 😛

        • Doc

          They dont make cars. They make Alfa Romeos. (…probably why they suck).

          • Phil

            LOL, still confusing the French and the Italians I see…

          • Doc

            Oh…….DAMMIT!!!! My bad.

    • Sheldon

      Who cares about the EU? Germany is tired of carrying all the bankrupt EU members. It shdnt hurt MB’s bottomline as most of Europe is roke anyway.

  • Sheldon

    The EU is like the United Nations. The only thing they are capable of doing is producing a half decent Greeting card at Christmas.

    • Dude

      Well said dude. I will add that stupidity is a disease now for the EU.

      • Sheldon

        I know. WTF is happening to Europe? It is like the entire continent became dumber than the Kardashians, no mean feat, btw.

  • Aus_poppa

    In the USA – the land of recalls and litigation – GM announced in 2010 that it would be using the new refrigerant HFO-1234yf in its 2013 models, which means that it has been installed in a lot of cars. Has it caused a problem in use there? What do US produced Mercedes use?

  • Spook

    So send more A-Class our way. That should help with the wait times for the A250.

  • Huge Jackman

    The EU gonna lecture Germany on SAFETY and NEW TECHNOLOGY? Yhats like Beiber lecturing The world on BEING NORMAL. Get the frack outta here!

  • al

    Global warming doesn’t exist. It’s just a lie to tax people. If they were serious about “global warming”, then why don’t they ban car races, airplane shows etc. etc.? There are like a million enterprises in this world using lots of energy simply for entertainment, however they don’t ban that. They allow it all, they just tax it…And they themselves fly with private airplanes, burning more fuel than anyone else…If global warming really existed, they would BAN all unnecessary usage of energy, not tax it.

    • HvhvGvhv

      what about banning volcanoes? Since one eruption causes more global warning then the entire history of humanity.