As it currently stands in Europe, only one automotive air conditioning refrigerant is approved under a new European Union environmental directive: HFO-1234yf, which was created by Honeywell and DuPont.
German auto giant to Daimler contends, however, that under its own testing, the refrigerant can combust during certain crash scenarios. According to General Motors’ German brand Opel, which recently implemented the refrigerant in question, the new refrigerant is safe.
“Opel’s domestic rivals Daimler and Volkswagen are both developing expensive carbon dioxide (CO2)-based air conditioning systems in order to avoid what they say is a fire hazard posed by Honeywell and DuPont’s new refrigerant HFO-1234yf, which emits poisonous hydrogen fluoride gas when it burns,” according to a Reuters report.
Recently, Opel, in tandem with independent testing agency TÜV Rheinland, put the Opel Mokka SUV through what it called “realistic” tests and failed to spark the new refrigerant.
Presently, Daimler is defying the EU directive and has continued to include the now-banned R134a in its brand-new vehicles due to the 1234yf supposed fire risk.
Many in the industry have questioned the credibility of the Daimler tests that reportedly caused the 1234yf to ignite, despite Honeywell’s admittance that the refrigerant mixture can in fact combust.
Honeywell has accused Daimler of creating the perfect scenario in which the refrigerant might catch fire.
We’re wondering if Daimler isn’t onto something, even if they had to create an “idea”l crash scenarios.
Surely more will come from this debacle so check back in as we learn more.