Mercedes earns EU-wide ban over polluting air-con

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BRUSSELS: National auto experts meeting in Brussels, Belgium, last week recommended an EU-wide block on the sale of Mercedes-Benz cars produced in breach of single-market rules.

The conclusions drawn by officials from the 28 European Union member states hit Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler hard after the European Commission already backed France in a row over standards limiting air-conditioning coolant to a type deemed more environment-friendly.

A statement issued by the Commission said the member-state experts “acknowledged that corrective measures shall be taken to bring the vehicles in conformity including the withdrawal of those non-conforming vehicles already sold on the market, as it has already been done by a member state.”

The officials emphasized the need for “full respect” of the EU legal framework.

Daimler will now struggle to gain market access for certain A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class models made since the industry-agreed coolant change.

Daimler stuck to an older coolant, claiming studies showed that the new gas catches fire more easily and puts cars at a greater risk of explosion in case of a crash.

Daimler has until August 20 to answer queries on safety and other aspects from the European Commission and avoid potential legal action, having won a temporary national reprieve from German authorities.

AFP

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