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31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The article below appeared in today's Mail on
Sunday. I hope they sort something out soon or there will be some very disappointed
people out there.</span></span>

New Mercedes face ban from British roads for
flouting EU rules on 'green' air-con: Germans say compulsory coolant causes
cars to catch fire and explode on impact</span>

Car maker embroiled
in an extraordinary row with EU bureaucrats</span>

It is over decision to force manufacturers to use 'green' air-con gas</span></span>

ByRUSSELL MYERS</span></span>

PUBLISHED:</span>22:27, 23 March 2013</span>|</span>UPDATED:</span>12:04, 24 March


Thousands of new Mercedes are set to be banned from sale in Britain
after they were declared 'illegal' by the EU.</span></span>

TheGerman luxury car maker is embroiled in an extraordinary row
with EU bureaucratsover a decision to force all car manufacturers to use
a new 'green' air-conditioning gas.</span></span>

Mercedes has raised fears that the new coolant causes cars to catch

But any car maker refusing to install the gas faces a ban on selling
cars across the Continent, the European Commission warned this week.</span></span>

The DVLA and the Vehicle Certification Agency in the UK are poised to
suspend any new registration of the luxury German cars if they do not conform
to the regulations.</span></span>

All new Mercedes A-Class hatchbacks, B-Class family cars and SL roadster
models will be affected because the manufacturer has failed to agree to the
law, which came into effect on January 1.</span></span>

Most manufacturers have already complied with the directive. But last
September Mercedes appealed to delay the implementation of the law.</span></span>

Internal tests by the company allegedly showed that ten out of 14 cars
using the new coolant caught fire when subjected to conditions that simulated
the coolant leaking into the engine in a front-end collision.</span></span>

But the Commission last week rejected the claims and warned it is not
possible for new cars to be sold within the EU if they do not conform to the

Implementing the directive could result in thousands of new cars being left
on dealers' forecourts, unable to be registered by the DVLA.</span></span>

In an update last week, the European Commission said 'controversial'
testing techniques by Mercedes were to blame for the findings and the
Department for Transport in the UK would be fined if it allowed the company to
sell the affected models.</span></span>

It stated: 'It is not possible for motor vehicles to be registered and
marketed in the EU if they are not in conformity with the relevant

The Department for Transport said it was monitoring the situation
closely, but it could cost Mercedes almost £500""‰million in lost sales in the UK
and more across Europe.</span></span>

Mercedes predicts sales of about 15,000 A-Class cars this year, which
cost from £18,970. About 6,500 £21,000 B-Class models and an estimated 800 of
the £72,550 SL models are also expected to be bought by Britons ""“ but all could
remain unsold if the DVLA refuses to register them for the UK market.</span></span>

Older models will be unaffected but from 2017 every vehicle released
into the European car market must be installed with the new coolant.</span></span>

Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, claims its tests show the new
air-con chemical is 'highly flammable', poisonous and poses a danger to
occupants and rescue services.</span></span>

The European Commission is now involved in 11th hour talks with
Mercedes. Volkswagen, which owns the Audi, Porsche and Skoda brands, has also
refused to install the new coolant.</span></span>

However, the fellow German manufacturer has insisted its engineers have
designed a new coolant using carbon dioxide which adheres to the European
environmental guidelines and is in advanced talks to use the new variant.</span></span>

Mercedes claims it has instructed its engineers to design a similar
chemical but the Commission denies knowledge of the plans. Critics have accused
Mercedes of putting costs ahead of global climate concerns because the
new coolant is more expensive.</span></span>

Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies, who helped to draft the new law, said: 'This
amounts to a declaration of war on Daimler. It is widely believed Daimler is
trying to avoid paying extra costs of about £20 per vehicle.</span></span>

'The Commission's briefing makes clear that new models using the old
refrigerant should not be sold.'</span></span>

Mercedes was last month confirmed as the leading premium brand in the
UK. It registered 3,329 new cars in February ""“ up 13.5 per cent on last year.</span></span>

Professor Thomas Weber, from Daimler, claimed the company was in
the process of producing a new coolant using carbon dioxide which would be
approved by the European Commission.</span></span>

He said: 'Daimler has examined all possible options very closely over
recent months and worked with the other manufacturers within the VDA (German
Association of the Automotive Industry) to find a solution that is acceptable
to all.</span></span>

'These efforts have shown clearly that CO2, is by far the most promising
solution, as it is environmentally acceptable and safe. We have given our
engineers the clear commission to develop the CO2 air-conditioning system.'</span></span>

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'The safety of all road users
is paramount. However, we have seen no evidence that the air-conditioning fluid
in this case poses any risk in appropriately designed vehicles. We continue to
monitor this issue and the European Commission is leading a review to ensure a
consistent approach for all vehicle manufacturers and purchasers.'</span></span>

The European Commission said it would not take action against anyone who
has bought one of the affected Mercedes models since January 1. But a spokesman
said it would continue to appeal to countries to enforce the legislation and
ban future registration of all new vehicles that do not contain the new coolant

Read more:</span></span>

1,342 Posts
I cannot believe this! Surely MB will sort it out? If it's true!

205 Posts
I cant see the German-dominated EU penalising Mercedes to the tune of £500m in lost revenue over this, especially when every European country needs as much money as it can get.

VW/Audi have also expressed their unease with this gas. It really smacks of typical EU corruption, ignoring safety fears so certain MEPs can get their kickbacks.

2,176 Posts
I read that this morning, can't see anything happening tbh. It's just more red tape from the eu.

3 Posts
This is really quite worrying. I picked up my A180 cdi sport early March. I'm not sure now if will be recalled, become valueless or even become more valuable. I also feel for those who have paid a deposit. Should we be worried or is this just typical media scaremongering??

109 Posts
Scaremongering. Doubt anything will happen plusThe Daily Mail has been wrong in thepast.

Also,when a car is recalled, it tells you in the letter what its recalled for. So if it does, just ignore the recall.

373 Posts
Interesting read that ... thanks Janine.

As worrying as this seems I can't see every newMerc, VW, Audi & Skodabeing banned though.

For now, I may just have to ignore it, like I do with all the other political BS that we have to endure.

I will be, however, keeping my fingers not only crossed, but plaited for good measure.

80 Posts
I would be a absolutely beside myself with anger if this comes into force. I'm not concerned about the deposit, should Mercedes be unable to deliver my car I will get that money back but for such an oversight mean that I have wasted time waiting for a car I would never get...

Having said that, this article is from the Daily Flail so I doubt ill loose any sleep :)

68 Posts
I was at the dealer last Wednesday finalising my order and mentioned what I had read on hear about the air on gas
And he said he hadn't heard anything about it ,news to him .But then again he is a salesman and not concerned as long as he keeps selling them .

I could be wrong but as past experience shows once they have your money.
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