Daimler told regulators about coolant-related recall, report say

FRANKFURT — Daimler told European regulators late last month that it will have to recall 127,847 Mercedes-Benz vehicles to replace the R134a coolant, trade publication kfz-betrieb reported on Wednesday, without citing the source of its information.

Daimler was not immediately available for comment.

The company’s third-quarter earnings were hit by a provision taken after a court ruling confirming a ban on the R134a air conditioning fluid used in Mercedes cars.

Daimler had a brief battled against a refrigerant five years ago. Due to the EU’s Mobile Air Conditioning Directive that took effect in early 2013, automakers were forbidden to use R134a refrigerant in all-new vehicles because it had a global warming potential roughly 1,300 times worse than CO2.

The entire industry agreed to switch to the only known and available alternative capable of meeting the MAC Directive, a fluorine gas called R1234yf. Its production was controlled by partners Honeywell and DuPont.

Daimler argued that R1234yf was not safe and broke EU rules for roughly six months, selling about 130,000 mainly compact cars with the old refrigerant before the German type approval authorities granted the automaker a retroactive change in their homologation. On Oct. 8, the court ruled that Germany had violated the directive by allowing Daimler to sell those roughly 130,000 cars.

Daimler said in October that it could no longer rule out the possibility it would have to recall the vehicles and book provisions to cover the unplanned costs.

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