USA: Thirteen major car manufacturers are participating in new research into the suitability of the new refrigerant R1234yf for car air conditioning.
This will be the fourth research programme conducted by SAE International, the global association of more than 128,000 engineers and experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries, and has been prompted by German car manufacturer Daimler's rejection of the new refrigerant on the grounds of safety.
Daimler has been joined by Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, PSA, Renault and Toyota in the Cooperative Research Programme (CRP).
The previous three SAE International CRPs into R1234yf began in 2007, and concluded three years later with a determination that the refrigerant can be used safely in vehicles that are designed for the new refrigerant. R1234yf was judged to be an acceptable alternative for mobile air conditioning systems while meeting new environmental and consumer needs.
Despite previous confirmations of the safety of R1234yf in both laboratory and vehicle testing, in September 2012, Daimler raised a new question about the safe usage of R1234yf based on their most recent vehicle tests. In response, leading global automobile manufacturers have joined together in this new SAE International CRP to perform an updated engineering analysis based on the most recent information.
A statement from SAE International says that the research team is working as quickly as possible to resolve this question and will issue interim reports as well as a final statement at the conclusion of the CRP's activities.