Germany has responded to European Commission (EC) demands it comply with its air-conditioning refrigerant directive, although the details of its position have not yet been made public.

The EC has made it known it could launch “appropriate infringement measures” against Germany if Berlin persists in backing Mercedes-Benz use of its r134a coolant as opposed to the Brussels-recommended r1234yf alternative.

It is not yet clear whether Germany’s response – believed to have come in the form of a letter from the country’s Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer – is enough to lift the threat of EC action with Brussels now having up to ten weeks to reply with its own position.

“The explanation from German authorities has arrived,” an EC official told just-auto from Brussels. “The Commission will now assess the reply and decide on an appropriate reaction.
“Under the pilot procedure rules the deadline for the Commission to respond is in ten weeks time.”
The German Transport Ministry is giving Mercedes its support concerning the bitter refrigerant battle that has seen the automaker’s A, B, CLA and SL models banned from certification in France.

Paris is endorsing the Commission’s view the r134a coolant is far more polluting than r1234yf, but Mercedes insists the latter can be highly flammable in certain conditions.

The German Transport Ministry was not immediately available for comment.

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