"At least two VDA members are still working on 1234yf", says DUH

By R744.com team, Oct 23, 2008, 16:00 3 minute reading

Presenting a video about flammability tests performed with the chemical refrigerant alternative 1234yf to the public this morning, Deutsche Umwelthilfe attacked car manufacturers for their failure to issue clear commitments and concrete agendas for the introduction of CO2 Technology. R744.com summarises below in English the main messages from the press release published by DUH.

“Automotive manufacturers shirk concrete statements about the car models that will be equipped with CO2 Technology. We contacted the German and international carmakers last week and all manufacturers refused to provide details. DUH does not accept that automotive groups are hiding behind VDA statements. [...] We won’t put any more trust in the VDA’s general press releases as long as there are no confirmations [...] on the basis of concrete vehicles using CO2 from 2011 on. [...] The weak VDA announcements aim to calm down politicians and the public. They conceal that at least parts of the automotive industry are still working on an environmentally and health damaging chemical substance for financial reasons”, reads the press release by the German green NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) presented this morning, 23 October, in Berlin to German media.

The extensive statement (~4 pages) by DUH attacks car manufacturers united under the automotive association VDA for their “lack of commitment to use the natural refrigerant CO2 in next-generation vehicles”. “Although promised by VDA head Matthias Wissmann last September” the document goes on, “research by DUH has found that at least two German carmakers are still not in line with the overall VDA commitment.”

“This confirmation [of CO2] is, according to our research, not shared by the VDA members Opel and Ford. [...] They are still working on the use of 1234yf. [...] The renewed, this time only to a ‘majority of companies’ limited commitment to natural refrigerants, is not acceptable, keeping in mind the decision of the VDA board and its president Matthias Wissmann”, DUH points out.

Positive signals, however, came from three other main OEMs, according to the NGO:

“DUH informed the VDA in advance about the alarming results of our own testing about the flammability and toxicity of contact poisons resulting from the burning of 1234yf. [...] DUH presented the results to several OEMs early October and announced to publish a movie about the tests. Suddenly their position changed – at least that of BMW, VW and Daimler. Tests performed short term confirmed the dangers unveiled by DUH. The VDA’s press department issued press releases on Monday and Wednesday, that work on chemicals would now really be stopped, which was officially proclaimed already one year ago.”

DUH is now calling for an ultimate decision for CO2 and concrete deadlines:

“The first refrigerant HCFC caused the ozone hole, the second chemical R134a drove climate change – this is enough as a mortgage from the chemical industry. [...] To keep the deadline of 1 January 2011, car manufacturers would have needed to create technical prerequisites for the serial introduction of cars with CO2 cooling long time ago. [...] In the remaining two years until the ban of the refrigerant R134a the production can only be adapted to a serial production [of CO2 systems] with huge efforts.”

As clearly stated in the press release, the chemical company Honeywell has contacted DUH: “Yesterday evening at 7.54 pm, and right before the public presentation of the test results, DUH received another reaction in form of a written communication by the American chemical company Honeywell. It threatens claims for indemnification and further legal steps. It insists that the new chemical refrigerant is neither toxic nor are there any problems with flammability.”

Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the originating source, not of R744.com. While every care has been taken in the compilation of this information and every attempt made to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. R744.com will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of the information provided.


By R744.com team (@r744)

Oct 23, 2008, 16:00

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