Car coolant rejected by Daimler is safe: EU scientists


EU scientists have found that the new car coolant at the centre of a dispute that has pitched regulators against Germany and its luxury carmaker Daimler does not pose any serious safety risks, the European Commission said on Friday.

The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against Germany over Daimler's refusal to stop using an old-style coolant that has global warming potential more than 1,000 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.

The suggested substitute, which has roughly the same impact as carbon dioxide, is the R1234yf coolant developed by US conglomerate Honeywell, in partnership with Dupont.

Daimler says that the substitute can emit a toxic gas when it burns, but its refusal to use the product has placed it in breach of an EU law that requires new cars to use coolants with a global warming potential no more than 150 times that of carbon dioxide.

In what it described as "a confidence-building measure", the Commission asked the Joint Research Council (JRC), set up to provide impartial scientific advice for policymakers, to carry out a new assessment of R1234yf.

"There is no evidence of a serious risk in the use of this refrigerant in mobile air-conditioning systems under normal and foreseeable conditions of use," the JRC concluded in its report published on Friday (7 March).

Daimler issued a statement saying that the research was "too restrictive". The carmaker said that its preferred option is to develop air-conditioning systems that use carbon dioxide as a refrigerant. Development of such a system, however, could take years.

Honeywell and Dupont both welcomed the JRC's findings. Honeywell said there are now more than 500,000 cars using R1234yf. The number is expected to reach more than two million by the end of this year.


“The JRC’s independent and unimpeachable report leaves no doubt that HFO-1234yf is safe for automotive applications,” said Ken Gayer, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products, saying the assessment marked "the final word" on the safety of the product.

“We continue to see strong adoption by global automakers of this new refrigerant as they work to meet new environmental regulation, especially in Europe, and are investing in production capacity to ensure adequate supply,” Gayer said in a statement.

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Mats Jangdal's picture

Since there are no greenhouse gasses the old refrigerants (a more accurate name than coolant, I believe) that are now forbidden would actually work better since they are more efficient and requires less energy to run properly.
The science has known at least since 2003 through Hans Jelbrings research that gasses greenhouse effect in the atmosphere can be attributed only to the gravitational density of the gases. What gasses making up the blend of the atmosphere does not matter, only the gravitational density.

Jennifer's picture

Hi friends,as technology is playing the foremost role in all sectors so as to scientist are researching new thing to implement in auto mobile sector also.So sometimes it give bad impact as well as good impact,but whenever it giving any impact that's is not good for new luxury cars like BMW or Mini cars like Mini cooper etc they are trying to fix it or rearrange it in different way.So here we have some responsibility towards our cars like Mini cooper to give proper servicing so as to avoid the accidental loss.

Filax's picture

the JRC report treats only safety aspects. Ecotoxicolgical aspects are omitted. 1234yf is transformed in the atmosphere in tetrafluoroacetic acid (TFA). TFA is one of the most stable artificial molecule. No decomposition mechanism is known and it accumulates in the environment. TFA is a phytotoxic substance. It is absent in natural fresh water. Its presence in seawater is proven, but it's origin is not clear. Unhomogenous concentations in the ocean suggest a man made origin, while the total quantitiy of the substance suggest a natural, probably volcanic origin. Its industrial use before the origin and the ecotoxicologic propoerties are well known, is in contradiction with the priciple of precaution.

Grunchard's picture

The TFA issue raised by Filax is well known. E ventually, recent studies concluded that the estimated maximum concentration of TFA in surface water was approximately 60 to 80 times smaller than that of the NOAEL (No Observed Adverse Effect Level) for aquatic ecotoxicity.

R1234yf has a exposure limit of 500 or 1,500 ppm, which is considered as safe. On the other hand CO2, at concentrations above 10% may cause fatalities due to the lack of oxygen uptake potentially leading to suffocation and asphyxia. In which of these facts should the principle of precaution be raised ?

ajobalorel's picture

You can find the car coolant or AC in every vehicle now a day and it is one of the necessary part i n every car. But if you are staying in a cooled area where all the time then what is the need of AC here. So the people from those areas demanding to remove AC from the car.As well as it arises a toxic gas that hampers the body parts too. Suppose you went to such place with your old car in which Ac is present but you don't want that then better remove it for that you better to visit any repairing center.

tayloraldon's picture

Coolant is a very useful and necessary thing for the car, it can cool the engine. Sometimes people got the engine heating problem and it created due to coolant, if the coolant circulation is not doing properly or the coolant did not change properly. So for the better performance of the car always check the coolant condition then change as per the condition.

Neuk Lehman's picture

Here, I want to share some information related to car coolant as this article is based on car coolant. Here, we have two questions. What is coolant and why we have to use the same. So, here we go. As the name specifies coolant are used in side the car to adsorb the heat from the engine that gets generated during the running process of the vehicle. The heat that gets absorbed by the coolant is then dissipates through a radiator. So, as mentioned here if the coolant is not going to solve out some serious safety risk then we have no benefit of having the same and now, it is the time for us to get it exchanged. But, before deciding such we have to choose the exchange or can say repair center smartly so, that we have the surety of good work done.

jospehmartin's picture

Especially with German cars we have found multiple advanced and modern technologies. It provides luxurious facilities to the user and therefore people were always interest to choose luxurious cars just because of its latest modern techniques. Car coolant system is also one of the most essential features added in our vehicle; but it ultimately affects the climatic condition. So we should take preventive steps to deal with the current climatic condition.

benzaminewhite's picture

Car coolant system is rejected is rejected by the dailmer is not at all an big issue because ca coolant used in cars to make the engine and inner side of the car cool. The carbon dioxide emission form the engine and the AC system makes the inner side hot. To prevent all these things we need to take some step. To prevent from these people uses the coolant system. But it is not needed in the dailmer car because the German car shave the inter parts settings that doesn't need coolant system. Because in that the carbon dioxide emission happening outside of the car that doesn't affects.

turnervictoria672's picture

Car coolant system is very necessary because it makes the car engine cool and well maintained. Mostly in German cars it is treated as the essential part because it makes the car cool and increases the life span of vehicle. This article is sharing the information that the Daimler refused to use the car coolant system. Is the weather of the area is cold then better to avoid this part but if you are staying in a hot area then you must have to install this part in your car system. But you need to maintain all the car parts properly to avoid visiting the repairing shop repeatedly.

BarbaraMashley's picture

Overheating can cause real damage to a car So to avoid overheating car coolants are used. The radiator in the vehicle helps to cool the engine and it requires water and coolant for cooling. Car coolants are very necessary for a car. Along with car coolants other car parts are also equally important. We can not say it is sufficient to take care of the coolants only. The car users has to take care of all the parts . Giving proper service to a car is also the responsibility of the car user.

erikwells's picture

Car coolant system is one of the necessary part in every car that must need to be maintained properly too. But according to the EU scientists it is found that the various factors that available that not required coolant system. I think if it is not necessary in every vehicle then why to place it in a vehicle. If you have a German car and you want to check if your engine need coolant system or not then visit to any German car service center.