France continues sales freeze of Mercedes-Benz models due to R134a coolant

Article by Anita Panait, on July 29, 2013

The French government has taken formal steps to ban sales of a number of Mercedes-Benz models in its territory due to the vehicles’ usage of a refrigerant banned by the European Union. France said it will retain a sales freeze on Daimler models like the Mercedes A class, B class and CLA after the carmaker challenged the move in court.

The environment ministry said in a statement that registrations of the concerned Mercedes-Benz models "will remain forbidden in France” as long as Daimler does not to conform to European regulations. France has stopped sales of Mercedes models built since June 12 after Daimler refused to stop using the R134a coolant that has been used on new vehicles since the start of 2013.

The blocked Mercedes models account for most of the brand's business in France and around 2 percent of global deliveries. An administrative court issued a ruling Thursday ordering the French government to re-examine the case after Daimler argued that the sales freeze failed to follow EU procedures for "safeguard measures."

According to Daimler, it did not share the view of the French government, which cited Article 29 of an EU framework directive allowing them to stop registration of new cars in extreme cases where a vehicle poses a considerable risk for traffic safety or seriously jeopardizes the environment or public health.

Daimler said that France’s argument is “absolutely incomprehensible” and cannot be applied in their case since virtually all new and used cars in Europe use the R134a and will continue to be so until the end of 2016.

The row between France and Daimler centers on a decision by Germany to allow Daimler continue using R134a due safety concerns about the replacement coolant R1234yf. EU has banned R134a, a global-warming gas that is 1,400 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Typically, approval in France and other EU countries follows on automatically from the German approval. Although Daimler breached an EU directive for continuing exclusively to use the R134a, Germany has agreed to extend a permit granted to predecessor models to the new models.

Germany is facing possible action from the European Commission over a refusal by Daimler to phase out a banned air conditioning coolant -- R134a -- from its new cars. Commission spokesman Carlo Corazza has told Reuters that officials are probing Daimler's Germany-backed refusal to heed an EU directive banning R134a.

Corazza said that if Germany is confirmed to have violated the ban, the EC may take necessary action including, possible infringement procedures.

If you liked the article, share on:

Comments

Recommended

It has been nearly eight years since Toyota entered a new era of sports cars when it officially unveiled the production version of the Toyota 86 – also known as...
by - February 27, 2019
The new Audi TT RS – yes, the top version of the German carmaker’s facelifted TT model series – is now officially here. If you could remember, the range-topping TT...
by - February 18, 2019
Nearly half a year ago when McLaren Automotive unveiled the McLaren 600LT Coupe, the British carmaker is now introducing a version that lets its passengers enjoy the thrill of an...
by - January 25, 2019
German carmaker Volkswagen is now making the latest evolution of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI -- the new Golf GTI TCR. First unveiled as a concept at the annual GTI...
by - January 24, 2019
It has been three and a half years since BMW unveiled the sixth generation of the BMW 7 Series. Thus, it is really about to give the 7 Series a...
by - January 17, 2019