France – Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class banned from sale
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France has banned the sale of the Mercedes A, B, CLA and SL Class models. This is what you need to know about the on going battle between France and Daimler –
1. The EU (European Union) regulated saying that the R134a refrigerant used in car air-conditioning systems is a global warming gas and 1,400 times more potent than CO2.
2. Car makers were asked to upgrade to less environmentally harmful refrigerants.
3. Mercedes say that the newly developed alternative refrigerant (by DuPont and Honeywell) is toxic and flammable.
4. Mercedes asks the German government to grant an extension to the R134a refrigerant usage until 2017. German regulators agree.
5. France fails to recognize this extension given by Germany. It announced a ban on various Mercedes models that usually account for 50% of the car maker’s sales in that country.
6. Mercedes drags France to court. Administrative judges order France to lift the ban. France refuses to do so.
7. The European Commission is now looking into this matter and should come out with their announcement by September.
This comes at a time when new car sales throughout Europe is declining for the fifth consecutive year. It is also being reported that this on going battle could cost 15,000 jobs and Mercedes dealerships in France have seen a huge slide in footfalls.
Meanwhile in India, most cars on sale use the R134a refrigerant.