Automotive Research Organization Dismisses Daimler’s Tests on Air Conditioning Refrigerant image

Automotive research organization SAE International has dismissed Daimler’s claim that the new air conditioning refrigerant is more dangerous than the one it continues to use.

SAE International is a global body of practitioners, engineers and scientists, as well as representatives from several automakers, which sets technical standards for the automotive industry. The automotive research organization said that the German automaker’s research into the new air conditioning refrigerant is flawed.

Beginning with January 2013 many major automakers have complied with the new EU air conditioning regulations, switching to the new R-1234yf which is the most environmentally friendly form of refrigerant. Daimler’s own tests showed that the new refrigerant has a higher risk of vehicle fire in case of a crash compared with the old refrigerant.

The German automaker’s decision to continue using the old refrigerant has lead to the ban on registration of new Mercedes A-Class, B-Class and SL-class in France in June. SAE’s report refuted the German automaker’s claim, also saying that the tests used by Daimler were flawed as they did not represent real-life crash scenarios.

SAE added that Daimler’s tests were based on several artificial factors which increased the risk of fire and at the same time ignored those factors which would have reduced the probability of fire. The organization’s conclusions have been endorsed by many automakers involved in the research: GM, Chrysler, Fiat, Toyota, Renault, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, PSA and Jaguar Land Rover.