Confidence in the safety of R1234yf as an automotive A/C refrigerant continues to grow in the ranks of an SAE International Cooperative Research Project team as it continues to review relevant research and testing to finalize risk assessment.
The CRP1234-4 team met the week of Feb. 4, 2013, and expressed support for the findings of the original CRP1234-3 team that had determined there was no greater risk in R1234yf than other engine-compartment fluids. The new team was formed last year in response to Daimler’s sudden decision to halt conversion to R1234yf.
The team continues to carefully review use of R1234yf by using universally accepted engineering methods, including analysis of recent OEM testing from actual vehicle crash data, on-vehicle simulations, laboratory simulations, bench tests, and more than 100 engine-compartment refrigerant releases. Based on this testing, the CRP team has found that the refrigerant is highly unlikely to ignite and that ignition requires extremely idealized conditions.
It also has determined that the refrigerant release testing completed by Daimler (and cited by the OEM as the basis for its decision to discontinue use of R1234yf) was unrealistic by creating the extremely idealized conditions for ignition while ignoring actual real-world collision scenarios.
The CRP1234-4 team consists of Chrysler/Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, PSA, Renault, and Toyota. Daimler had been part of the CRP1234-4 team, but recently dropped out, as did BMW and Audi.
Reacting to Daimler’s withdrawal, refrigerant manufacturer Honeywell commented “It shows an unwillingness to accept SAE’s proven, scientific, peer-based approach that repeatedly demonstrated the product is safe as well as the fact that other automakers have been able to effectively and safely use 1234yf.
“Unlike the SAE approach, Daimler’s testing was conducted without the participation of any reputable third party and without consultation with others in the industry. Also, this testing came on the eve of the MAC Directive, despite the fact that automakers had six years to prepare for compliance.”
The market is still confused as to which of the above vehicle manufacturers have launched vehicles filled with R1234yf and what vehicles will be filled with it in the near future.
The list of possible vehicles with R1234 in at now and the near future is as follows:
SUBARU XV – HYUNDAI i30 – KIA CEED – MAZDA CX5 – TOYOTA YARIS HSD – RENAULT ZOE – OPEL MOKKA – CADILLAC XTS- CHEVROLET MALIBU’- LEXUS GS450h – PEUGEOT 301 – CITROEN ELYSËE – RANGEROVER – JAGUAR F type…………..