Last Update March 2 2016
2016 EAAC Convention for the international auto aircon industry
Latest news: Daimler switches to R-1234yf
On October 20th Daimler has announced that it will now be using the refrigerant R1234yf in the interim to comply with EU regulations. Daimler had previously refused to use R1234yf in its Mercedes car air conditioning systems due to concerns over its flammability. Daimler says it will now use R1234yf, supported by “a comprehensive package of safety measures” to guarantee its high safety standards. This includes a gas generator to release inert argon gas at the relevant hot spots in the event of a collision. This measure must make sure that the resultant refrigerant/air mixture is separated from the hot engine components. Daimler sees R1234yf as an interim solution since it plans to become the first manufacturer to offer production passenger cars equipped with CO2 air conditioning systems within two years from now.
United Kingdom: "no licence for buying R-134a"
Late September the British Environment Agency has published that “a recovery certificate is not required to purchase F-gas for use in MAC systems. (...) Such a qualification is only required to recover refrigerant from MAC systems”. Read more abiut this and the comments in the October issue of Automotive A/C Reporter.
The next European Automotive A/C Convention will take place on September 17th in Frankfurt a.M., Germany. More information will be available from November of this year.
Tech Database: news electrical section from April/May 2015
From April/May of this year, the tech database will be added a new section with over 5000 electrical wiring diagrammes for the auto a/c systems from Europe's car park. The high resolution diagrammes are easy to read, are highly detailed and enable identifying the various components and the functions of the various plug pins. Contact us for more information.
R-1234yf website section
This website features a R-1234yf website section for subscribers ( login required) to the website. It contains all relevant HFO-1234yf documents such as MSDS, convention presentations, press releases, official statements by refrigerant manufacturers, car makers, equipment makers ( e.g. user manuals) and governmental- and other institutions. Contact us for more information.
HFO-1234yf Developments until September 26th 2014
On September 25th 2012 Daimler has officially announced that it will not be using the new HFO refrigerant R1234yf in its vehicle air conditioning systems. Instead, it says it wishes to continue using R134a. Following its own independent safety tests, the German car and truck manufacturer has raised safety concerns with usage of the new internationally recognized refrigerant replacement for R134a. Daimler says it has carried out a series of additional tests on the new refrigerant as part of a new real-life test scenario developed in-house which goes above and beyond the legally prescribed requirements. In the new real-life test scenario, the refrigerant is dynamically dispersed at high pressure near to hot components of the test vehicle's exhaust system," says the report. "This corresponds to a serious head-on collision in which the refrigerant line is severed and the reproducible results demonstrate that refrigerant which is otherwise difficult to ignite under laboratory conditions can indeed prove to be flammable in a hot engine compartment."
On September 26th DuPont made a statement in response to Daimler's press release, in which it states that, HFO-1234yf can be safely used as an automotive refrigerant and that risk assessments have shown that there is no significant flammability risk for HFO-1234yf versus R-134a. Spokesman Janet E. Smith adds that DuPont is surprised that the test by Daimler did not involve any industry members or undergo peer review. She adds that the statements in Daimler's release are not consistent with the findings of extensive industry evaluations and hopes to have the opportunity to review Daimler data.
On October 3rd, Honeywell issued a similar press release in which it stresses to stand behind the safety of HFO-1234yf, referring to testing programmes sponsored by 15 global automakers incl all leading German automakers, which concluded that 1234yf is safe for use in automobile applications. Also: ""We are not aware of any in-house testing conducted by Mercedes-Benz that examined areas that have not already been adequately addressed in the past, and we continue to believe this overwhelming body of data shows HFO-1234yf is safe".
On October 10th, Mercedes has started recalling SL Class vehicles (R231) with HFO-1234yf system in order to rebuild them to R-134a.
On October 11th, Honeywell and Mercedes-Benz met, focusing on the automaker's recent in-house testing of HFO-1234yf on its vehicles which took place without the participation of any reputable third party. In an official statement Honeywell says to have seen no evidence that the findings from this testing have added any substantial new information to the comprehensive risk assessment already done under the CRP research programme. In the same statement Honeywell relates to the existence of substances under the hood of today's automobiles, that are more flammable than HFO-1234yf ( e.g. gasoline, coolant, transmission fluids), that can be used through design that minimizes the risks, and has asked Daimler to review their designs to determine the necessary modifications required to further minimize any flammability risks. Honeywell also offered its engineering experience to assist Daimler's engineers to develop a solution.
On November 23rd the EC has written to MACS Wordwide that after 31 December 2012 the EU Member States cannot allow registration of cars ( those type approved for the new gas), still using the old gas R134a* ( the complete document can be found on our special HFO-1234yf section which is part of the login area).
On November 29th, VDA speaker Eichhorn states that an additional 6 months period is required to estimate the risks and take any required countermeasures, such as the implementation of adaptations to systems or refrigerant. According to Eichhorn this corresponds with the standpoint held by ACEA, which pursues a moratorium until 1.6.2013.
On December 20th, German ASP Online says that during a session of the Technical Committee Motor Vehicle (TCMV) of the EU Commission on wednesday, it has been decided that a request to use R-134a until June 30th 2013, has been denied. ASP adds that this means that from January 1 2013 in new vehicle types that have been type-approved after 1.1.2011, a refrigerant with a GWP < 150 has to be used ( HFO-1234yf).
On January 5th 2013, Carlo Corazzo from DG Enterprise confirms to Auto A/C Reporter that all new models that will be put in circulation from January 1st must be equipped with the new gas.
On February 7th Daimler, Audi and BMW leave the SAE R-1234yf CRP Team, stating that the performed tests are not sufficient to fully judge the safety of the vehicles.
February 14th: according to the German ASP agency, the German KBA safety authority will put official pressure on Mercedes to make sure, that all vehicles that have been homologated for R-1234yf, and were sold after 1.1.2013, do contain the legally accepted refrigerant. It is know known yet, how much time Daimler gets to comply, and what the consequences are, if they should not. The EC wants to know from the KBA in how far vehicles -which should have been charged with R-1234yf- but were in fact with R-134a, have been sold in Germany since January 1st. The EC's DG Enterprise wants to know from the German government what it intends to do, to get vehicles that do not comply, back in the correct legal state (R-1234yf/AAR).
February 26th: the login section of this website contains the EC's R-1234yf Q&A Document from February 22nd.
March 5th: BMW Boss Reithofer announces in Geneva that the electrical BMW i3 ( 2013 Q3) will be equipped with an R-1234yf system
March 6th: Daimler tells Autopraxis that it has decided for CO2 as safe and environment-friendly refrigrant. In a first reaction Honeywell describes this as another desperate attempt to delay their compliance with the Directive.
March 28th: On March 20th EU Vice President Tajani, declares that there are no legal grounds to approve an exemption for the enforcement of the Directive, that the present situation of non-compliance by some manufacturers leads to unfair competition, and that the Commsission expects that any light vehicle that has received a new type approval after 1.1.2011 has to comply with the Directive. The Commission also expects each Member State to enforce the Directive and is prepared to take infringement action against Members State that fails to enforce the Directive.
April 3rd: During a live test performed by Opel and TüV Rheinland (corresponding with an accident on the highway where a fully loaded vehicle, previously moving at top speed hits a stationary vehicle at top speed), where the a/c system with R-1234yf was damaged and refrigerant escaped near the hot exhaust manifold, the refrigerant did not ignite. Opel states in a press release from April 3rd that this proves the safety of R-1234yf.
April 19th: Mid April EU Commission's Antonio Tatjani repeats to Süddeutsche Zeitung that no exceptions are made to use R-134a in vehicles that should be charged with R-1234yf. An example is the new A-class. "As soon as I receive a report that a vehicle with the old refrigerant has been admitted in one of the EU member states, I see myself forced to institute infringement proceedings because of violations of the Directive".
June 17th: On June 14th, the EC announces to grant the German government 10 more weeks to either concretize safety concerns about R-1234yf, or to comply with the Regulation. If this does not happen, the EC will start an infringement procedure against Germany.At the moment the German safety authority KBA and other bodies are performing new crashtests to test the safety of R-1234yf. These are expected to be fianlized early August.
July 9th: Early July, France starts blocking the registrations of new Mercedes A-class, B-class and SL cars. According to an EC official, France blocks the registration because "the refrigerant used is not allowed in the EU". A Daimler spokesman says not to have an explanation why the registration was not accepted in France.
August 18th:On August 16th the German Transport Autoirity KBA announces the results of its R-1234yf safety tests. In short: after a critical judgement KBA recognizes no danger related to the product safety of R-1234yf. Dupont and Honeywell are happy with the outcome. Also Daimler however announces that the KBA results support the carmaker's decision not to use R-1234yf.
September 5th: Refrigerant maker Arkema announces that it will build Forane 1234yf production facilities in Europe and Asia.
November 12th: The EC's JRC invites R-1234yf stakeholders with technical expertise which have performed relevant testing procedures and risk assessments, to join three technical meetings and provide further information on the process. The meetings are on November 20th, December 11th and January 15th.
January 21st 2014: On January 21st a Toyota spokesman in Europe states to Automotive A/C Reporter: "Toyota concurs with the conclusions of the Society of Automotive Engineers' Collaborative Research Program (SAE-CRP) assessment that HFO1234yf is a safe and effective automotive refrigerant. In parallel, in Europe, there have been concerns voiced by an OEM, consumers, NGOs, the media and some authorities on the safety of the refrigerant, leading to a very confused situation. We give the highest priority to our customers' feeling of safety and security, therefore we are awaiting the final assessment of the EU Commission on the use of HFO-1234yf".·
January 21st: According to an article in the German "Handelsblatt" ( Jan 20th), the EU Commission is increasing pressure on Germany.The EC may prepare legal proceedings against Germany because of breaking European Law. Handelsblatt adds to have received the information from sources within the Commission. EC Commissioner Tajani blames Germany for tolerating the admission of new car types with R-134a refrigerant.
March 10th: On March 6th the EC concludes that R-1234yf is safe for use as refrigerant in automotive applications.
September 26th: On September 24th the European Commission has sent a formal request to Germany, to take necessary actions to apply the EU Directive on Mobile Air Conditioning. Germany has infringed EU law in so far as it allowed a German manufacturer to put on the EU market, vehicles that were not in conformity with the Directive and decided not to impose any remedial neasures on this manufacturer. Germnay now has two months to take the necessary measures to comply with the Commission's request. If they fail to do so, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
EAAC 2014 & Upcoming magazine issue
The upcoming issues will contain valuable information on the 2014 EAAC and how to prepare yourself for the new refrigerant(s) and new thermal management systems.
Technical Website Datebase
The Technical Website Database does not only contain articles which have been published in Automotive A/C Reporter. Additionally it also contains the most updated refrigerant and oil tables, auto aircon training modules, replacement times for condenser, evaporator, compressor, expansion valve ect. and hundreds of technical tips for specific vehicles types. Contact us for more info! This hands-on website is a must for every mobile a/c service specialist.It is updated and added to every two weeks and contains many more vehicle-related tech tips than those which have been published in the magazine. Subscribers to this site can also enjoy the benefits of the mass-mail service which supports in sorting out specific problems with the help of the other subscribers all over Europe!