In January 2011, the EU mandated all car manufacturers to stop using the R134a-based refrigerant due to its high carbon emission. The EU ordered that the old coolant should be replaced by the R1234yf.
According to the EU, the R134a possesses a Global Warning Potential (GWP) figure equivalent to 1,430. On the other hand, the replacement only has a GWP of four which makes it very ideal for the environment.
A two-year grace period was given to all car manufacturers after the effectivity of the new law. But last January, the grace period came to an end.
However, Mercedes-Benz remained firm in its position to stick with the R134a. The German auto manufacturer claimed that their tests using the new coolant revealed unfavorable results which could potentially harm their cars and customers.
The car company said that the R1234yf has a high tendency to start a fire and release hydrogen fluoride (which is a poisonous and corrosive substance) when the contents of the new refrigerant leaks to the engine during a head-on collision.
Although the tests of Mercedes were supported by the German Federal Environment Agency, EU remained firm on the subject and ordered the recall of all cars that do not comply with its standards.
For related news, check out previous posts about the issue here: