Last year, a new refrigerant was at the center of controversy when Daimler raised concerns about it igniting on the hot surface of an engine.
The refrigerant, known as HFO-1234yf, underwent another series of tests by SAE International along with 11 automakers and concluded that the refrigerant is safe for use in mobile air conditioning units. SAE also called Daimler’s simulated crash tests “unrealistic” and said it was under “extreme conditions that favored ignition while ignoring many mitigating factors that would be present in an actual real-world collision.”
SAE went so far as to say a person is 20,000 times more likely to die in a plane crash than to be exposed to a vehicle fire as a result of HFO-1234yf. The 11 automakers that were involved with the testing includes Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Peugeot, Renault, and Toyota. Daimler did not participate in the latest tests, but were involved in the initial testing in December.
Daimler rebutted by stating that it believes SAE’s methodology “dilutes the results,” and denounced claims that Daimler’s testing is unrealistic.
[Source: Automotive News]