Fleet News

Lib Dem MEP demands Mercedes-Benz recall

British MEP Chris Davies has demanded that there is a recall of all Mercedes-Benz vehicles fitted with an illegal air conditioning gas.

European rules came into force at the start of the year that require manufacturers to use a new gas called HFO1234yf, which is less polluting than the previous air-con coolant, R134a.

However, tests carried out by Mercedes-Benz suggest that HFO1234yf is at risk of self-igniting in the event of an accident if the air-con pipe fractures.

When it does, the company said, it releases dangerous hydrofluoride gas which can disable and kill even in very small quantities.

As a result, Mercedes-Benz, backed by the German authorities, has decided not to use the new coolant gas in its latest models, which includes the A-Class.

However, Liberal Democrat MEP Davies has asked the Commission to confirm whether Germany would be allowed to protect Mercedes-Benz and claims he has been told that the German government could now end up in court over the row.

“EU environment laws only work if they are fair to everyone and by letting Daimler off, Germany is being unfair to manufacturers from France to Spain to the Czech Republic,” said Davies.

“A fine for Daimler won’t be enough – there needs to be a recall of all the illegal cars.”

Whatever the outcome, any action by the Commission could have significant implications for Mercedes-Benz.

The company predicts sales of about 25,000 A-Class cars this year in the UK, of which around half will be to fleets.

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  • Patriot - 04/07/2013 21:45

    Since when do non-qualified MEP's-and MP's-know about vehicle air-con system design? I notice Chris Davies has not produced any evidence to rebut M-B's claims concerning the flammability of HFO1234yf in the event of a pipe fracture. Any damn fool can criticise and the one's elected as MEP's often do.

    • Rob Chisholm - 05/07/2013 14:16

      @Patriot - Agreed.

  • Mark Tilley - 05/07/2013 14:03

    I often wonder about the validity of some of the claims made by authors of posts such as this. I spoke to people I know within Mercedes Benz. I was advised they wanted 25,000 A-class units for the UK, but will only be getting 12,000. Difficult to sell 25,000 when only 12,000 brought to UK, don't you think? Regards the air-con gas situation. Personally I agree with MB stance. Safety is paramount. Tests need to be carried out and facts ascertained.

    • Rob Chisholm - 05/07/2013 14:15

      @Mark Tilley - not sure why that stat would surprise anyone. VAG have been doing this for a few years now. Take orders and it takes customers out of the market. When it appears that vehicle won't be supplied within the promised window the customer may as well continuing to wait as they will have to wait as long for a vehicle from a rival manufacturer. 14 months was our record ... for a Golf.

    • Mark Tilley - 05/07/2013 14:58

      @Rob Chisholm - Rob, know where you are coming from but MB no longer offer me the A-class on their system I use. Pointless as they know they will not get any cars.

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