Franco-German Dispute Might Lead to Tensions Between Germany and the EU image

Mercedes might see sales of its new vehicles blocked in all European markets, due to the use of banned air conditioning refrigerant in its new vehicles.

The debate regarding the refrigerant used by the Mercedes vehicles, started when France authorities did not want to register Mercedes A-Class, B-Class and SL vehicles manufactured on June 12th, although the German authorities have approved them.

EU experts have met today to discuss the Franco-German dispute and Daimler’s refusal to use a more environmentally-friendly air conditioning coolant. Both France and Germany are at risk of infringement action regarding this problem.

When contacted by, a Daimler spokesperson said: “In our view, the statements of the European Commission do not change the current situation. Our vehicles have a valid type approval issued by the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, KBA) which is valid throughout Europe. As a result, we see no hurdles for the registration of those vehicles in all EU Member States.”

Since the beginning of this year all new vehicles must have the R1234yf refrigerant, with Daimler being the only one to use its R134a air conditioning coolant. The German automaker claims that studies showed that the new refrigerant catches fire more easily and that the vehicles are at a higher risk of exploding in case of crash.