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US green groups lobby to stop refrigerant sales to car enthusiasts

Bid to restrict sales of R134a to qualified technicians to avoid DIY top-ups

A coalition of US green groups is bidding to get the US environment agency the EPA to restrict sales of refrigerant to qualified technicians only. The groups are concerned that when 1234yf is brought in as standard under the Mobile Air Conditioning directive, car enthusiasts will attempt to top up with cheaper R134a purchased in cans. This, they say, will result in more refrigerant being lost to atmosphere, as the public wont observe recovery protocols and are unlikely to try to stop the original leaks.

They say the fact that 1234yf is expected to cost five times as much as R134a “will be an incentive to switch back to HFC-134a the first time the vehicle is serviced, with a consequence of higher subsequent greenhouse gas emissions. The recharge with HFC-134a of vehicle designed and labeled for HFC-1234yf will increase the frequency of refrigerant contamination when these vehicles are later serviced. Cross contamination of refrigerants increases the cost of service because the mixed refrigerant must be removed from vehicles and from recovery/recycle equipment and either remanufactured or destroyed and high cost and inconvenience.”
For these reasons,the groups are petitioning the EPA “to restrict the sales of all refrigerants to certified technicians with access to service equipment required by EPA regulations.”

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