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Blog: French fire first salvo against Mercedes in car cooling battle

Whether it is politically or environmentally motivated is still not clear, but the French authorities have upped the ante over car air conditioning

So, the French have become the first EU country to enforce the MAC Directive by reportedly blocking registrations of new Mercedes A, B and CLA cars, because they have R134a in them, rather than HFO 1234yf

The move is yet another surprise twist in a saga where we have had more than our fair share of twists already. It looks like the French authorities have got fed up with the European Commission’s seemingly endless threats of enforcement and decided to take matters into their own hands. This proactive stance is not what we have come to expect from the country who invented the phrase ‘laissez faire’, but they clearly want to teach the defiant Germans a lesson. Nothing to do with having their own car industry - step forward Peugeot, Citroen and Renault (and Nissan, which Renault owns- which they need to protect.

But we now wait with baited breath to see whether the EU backs the French with some enforcement action, whether it sides with the Germans (who are financing much of Europe, let’s not forget), or whether it stands back and watches the battle rage around it.

But as has been noted by others in this debate, if one country can choose to ignore the European law, what precedent does that set for F-gas?


Readers' comments (1)

  • Cheers to you Andrew. There is no mandate on which refrigerant fluid to use as long as it has a GWP below 150 and has received appropriate reach, etc. approval. Daimler's inability to find a suitable fluid for their vehicles does not excuse them from compliance.

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