A bizarre row could lead to thousands of Mercedes cars being banned in the UK over the use of an alleged ‘illegal’ air conditioning coolant.
The European Union’s Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani says he will target Mercedes owner Daimler and its use of a polluting air-cooling system used in some of its most popular cars including the new A-Class and B-Class.
It could lead to thousands of Mercedes cars banned from the UK and cost the brand as much as £500m in lost revenue if the ruling comes into effect.
A substance called R134a, previously the industry standard for air conditioning, has been the subject of debate for nearly ten years.
It is suggested the coolant is nearly 1,500 times more polluting than CO2 emissions and alternatives are now being sought.
Car makers were asked to stop using the new the coolant and instead use a less polluting alternative but Mercedes is arguing initial tests showed a leak could lead to the new coolant bursting into flames.
The substance has been banned since 1st January 2013 after a two-year phasing-out process but Daimler is now flouting the ban while debate continues.
As a result it has used the older coolant in cars its small family cars and the likes of the SL roadster which could lead to cars being banned or hefty fines for any sold.
The European Union says it has the power to ban any vehicles that do not comply with legislation and will refuse registration of vehicles if they use the older coolant.
Mercedes has already asked the European Union for leniency and stated it will develop its own low-CO2 coolant but it seems the regulator is losing patience with the premium car maker.
Luckily for UK drivers who currently own an A-Class hatchback or B-Class small family car will not be affected by the legislation but it could hit sales of new cars although we here at the A-Class Club think a ban is highly unlikely. Discuss this in our forums: http://www.aclassclub.co.uk/forum/new-mercedes-face-ban-from-british-roads_topic250.html