Mercedes-Benz has been the subject of a rather massive scandal between the European Union and Germany because the automaker refused to change a car air conditioning cooler deemed too polluting.

The third largest luxury automaker in the world declined to change R134a to the new alternative R1234yf – made by Honeywell and Dupont – because it considered it unsafe. On the other hand, the European legislators decided to phase out the refrigerant because it is considered 1,000 times more powerful than CO2 as a global warming agent.

Now, the European Commission decided to take action and ordered Germany to stop supporting the carmaker in the next two months – threatening with a court action and subsequent penalties.

“The Commission sent today a formal request to Germany to take the necessary actions to apply the EU directive on mobile air conditioning,” the Commission said in a statement. “Germany 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.”

Germany’s minister for transport, Alexander Dobrindt, said in a statement that the German auto industry is keen on upholding the new regulations for car refrigerants that will have effect since 2017. A Mercedes spokesperson added the company’s stance on the matter remains unchanged and they are working on the development of an alternative coolant that should be ready by 2017.

Via Automotive News Europe


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