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EU says it will take legal action against Germany over refrigerant UPDATE

EU will take legal action against Germany over Daimler’s refusal to remove R134a from new cars.

The European Commission is to bring legal proceedings against carmaker Daimler, for continuing to defy its Mobile Air Conditioning Directive, Trade Commissioner Antonio Tajani told a press conference today.

Daimler has two months to respond.

At the same time, Mr Tajani said the EC would write to the UK, Belgium and Luxemburg, demanding to know why the three countries continued to register Daimle models that contravened the MAC Directive.

The threat of infringement proceedings is the latest attempt to bring the standoff between the EC and Daimler to an end.  Daimler has now been in contravention of the MAC Directive for a year, but is backed by the German government in its stance, which it said is due to flammability concerns over the refrigerant. German carmakers now want more time to develop a CO2-based solution for their vehicles.

Last autumn, the Commission instructed its scientific arm the Joint Research Centre to investigate the evidence surrounding Daimler’s refusal to install the refrigerant R1234yf in its new models.

But the JRC’s meetings before Christmas were marked by Daimler entrenching its position and continuing to refute the body of evidence presented for the safety of R1234yf according to reports.

The final meeting is due tomorrow (24th) and is expected to see the JRC make some sort of summing up. However, in the light of today’s announcement, the pressure could be on Daimler to make concessions.


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