Diesel, emissions, DriveWrite Automotive, motoring, car, blog

EU Stays Cool Over HF

The eco-experts at that Tower of Babel we call the European Union head office have done it again. In their quest to save the planet – or at least the Euro bit – those swivel-eyed suits have ruled that as of 1st January 2017 all cars built for use in Europe must have eco-friendly coolant in their air-con systems.

This is all very laudable. The trouble is it’s a directive from the EU – a good idea born of a lie and gone bad to the bone. Could they really put ideology before safety?

As far as is reported there is only one product that can do the required cooling job and that, according to Mercedes who know a thing or two about cars, in certain circumstances could prove to be lethal. As a result, the German brand is to fit affected models with fire-suppressant devices that will blast argon gas at hot parts of the engine in the immediate aftermath of a crash to smother possible combustion. This is in the admittedly unlikely event that the crash causes the dangerous coolant brew to leak, ignite and release toxic hydrogen fluoride gas.

Mercedes have not jumped to conclusions. They have tested this scenario as long ago as 2012. In every test toxic fumes were released. Some boffins reckon that just one gram of this gas can kill and no, I didn’t read this in the Daily Express, so you’re not all necessarily going to die. Despite these well-founded reservations the EU continues to press ahead with the legislation.

They’ve commissioned their own review apparently and believe that this coolant is safe. I don’t know who they asked. This positive attitude is backed up by both DuPont and Honeywell – who make the stuff, but then, of course, they would say that wouldn’t they? Conversely, as we all now know car makers of Europe have shown to be prepared to massage results to shift tin. Let he who is without sin etc.

I don’t have a problem with trying to make the planet a cleaner place even if some of the ‘solutions’ seem to come from the crackpot end of the green spectrum. It has been obvious for years that the EU will take the word of the ‘expert’ testimony that fits in with their aims. Disagree with these overpaid streaks of political ideology and you will be howled down in storm of righteous, blinkered indignation.

My concern is that to achieve their stated aim the EU seems to be quite happy to unleash an allegedly potential dangerous product onto the car market. It’s not as if, in the real world, it is going to make a lot of difference to climate change as the Volkswagen ‘furore’ has shown. We were all taken in by these specious statistics. At the end of the day who do you believe to be right?                        Geoff Maxted