Mercedes begins with the switch to CO2 air conditioning systems. The S-Class Coupé is now starting, with further variants of the luxury class model to follow in the coming year. This makes the Stuttgart company the world's first and probably the only manufacturer with this technology for the foreseeable future. In the coming year, automatic climate control with CO2 technology is also to be offered as an option in the smaller E-Class. In the standard versions, however, the refrigerant R1234yf, which is controversial due to the possible fire risk, is used.
The predecessor 134a currently used in the E-Class will be banned on January 1, 2017. This is a problem for Mercedes, as the brand first got the safety discussion about R1234yf going with its own fire tests three years ago and then refused to use the material against great resistance.
Where R1234yf is unavoidable from a Mercedes perspective, a comprehensive protection package should ensure the forced use of the substance. Among other things, there is a protective gas cartridge in the engine compartment. In the event of an accident, the noble gas argon escapes, which is intended to shield hot engine parts against the escaping refrigerant. According to the manufacturer, this will counteract inflammation. (Holger Holzer / SP-X)