Concerns over Safety of Low-Global-Warming Refrigerant Dismissed

One of the top automotive engineering firms in the world has issued a report dismissing concerns over the safety of Honeywell’s Low-Global-Warming Refrigerant. Following concerns raised by Daimler over the flammability of the refrigerant following a crash, SAE International Cooperative Research Project conducted their own comprehensive study, and found that HFO-1234yf was both safe and effective.

The product, which has been on the market for several years, was thoroughly tested between 2007 and 2009, but because Daimler conducted their own tests and raised safety concerns, the testing was done again. Honeywell’s HFO-1234yf mobile refrigerant is being used widely across Europe because of its environmental benefits. The product has been shown to reduce greenhouse emissions by a tremendous degree, and it has been estimated that should all automobiles adopt its use, it would be as if four million cars were to suddenly disappear off of the roads. Had the safety concerns been legitimate, it would have had a devastating impact on the ability of the UK to meet the European Union’s Mobile Air Conditioning Directive, which was written for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in both light commercial vehicles, like the Ford Transit van and passenger cars.

The Daimler report followed in-house testing of vehicles, and did not include any third party involvement. It concluded that the substance was flammable, but when SAE International conducted tests they found that the testing itself was faulty, and indicated that it not only didn’t include actual vehicle collisions in its assessment, but also did not involve any of the factors that tend to be present in vehicular accidents. SAE’s testing included safety and engineering experts from some of the most highly reputable vehicle manufacturers in the world, including Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Renault, Toyota and Jaguar Land Rover.