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Daimler bows to pressure on new refrigerant
October 20, 2015 15:19 CET -- UPDATED: Oct. 20 16:22 CET -- adds detail
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Daimler's Mercedes-Benz cars division bowed to pressure from regulators to use an air conditioning refrigerant that has for years been at the center of a dispute between the European Union and Germany.
The European Commission last year launched legal proceedings against Germany, which has backed Daimler's refusal to use the R1234yf refrigerant developed by U.S. conglomerate Honeywell in partnership with Dupont.
Daimler, which has said the refrigerant can cause fire in front-end collisions, said it will install a "specific protective system" in vehicles switching to R1234yf to ensure safety.
The automaker has insisted on using R134a, a global warming agent that is more than 1,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, but does not burst into flames.
EU rules will require carmakers from 2017 to use refrigerants with a global warming potential no more than 150 times that of carbon dioxide.
Starting 2017, Mercedes will phase in carbon dioxide as a refrigerant in S- and E-class cars, Daimler said in a statement on Tuesday.
It said it will adopt a two-track approach because it is not feasible to roll out CO2-based air conditioning technology across the fleet by January 2017.
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