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Vehicle AC industry vows to challenge Defra U-turn on use of R134a refrigerant

European trade body MACpartners says its is ‘gravely concerned’ at apparent green light for DIY R134a top-ups, which it says directly contradicts the MAC Directive

MACpartners, the pan-European trade body for vehicle air conditioning, has vowed to challenge what is sees as a contradiction of the MAC Directive over use of R134a top-ups for untrained personnel.

The body, which represents all sectors of the vehicle air conditioning industry with a particular focus on aftermarket AC servicing, says it was ‘astounded’ to hear of the recent U-turn by Defra over the purchase of F-Gases by unlicensed individuals and the general public and will be addressing this matter with Defra and the European Commission on behalf of its members and all stake holders in the industry.

The group said it is gravely concerned that this change of position from June 2015 directly contradicts the (EU) 517/2014 directive.  It said it was particularly worried that the reversal appears to have been made only after undisclosed UK stakeholders questioned the authority of Defra to restrict the sale of these products.

MACpartners said: “This action by Defra not only allows the sale of so called DIY top ups of R134a to untrained service technicians and even further to the general public via auto spare parts outlets, but it allows untrained individuals to simply add refrigerant to a leaking system without seeking the services of qualified service personnel to properly recover the refrigerant from the vehicle and perform repairs.”

It added “The Defra ruling certainly appears to be against the best interests of the  professional auto repair industry, and could lead to negative consequences for the vehicle being “serviced” and to the environmental issue of F’ Gas emissions not being followed.”

MACPARTNERS

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