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Old 7th August 2013, 15:23   #1
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Default France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

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France has banned the sale of the Mercedes A, B, CLA and SL Class models. This is what you need to know about the on going battle between France and Daimler -

Bottom Reason: Refrigerant R134a is to be blamed.

1. The EU (European Union) regulated saying that the R134a refrigerant used in car air-conditioning systems is a global warming gas and 1,400 times more potent than CO2.
2. Car makers were asked to upgrade to less environmentally harmful refrigerants.
3. Mercedes say that the newly developed alternative refrigerant (by DuPont and Honeywell) is toxic and flammable. Merc say that most vehicles already use the R134a, so why not extend the deadline until 2017?
4. Mercedes asks the German government to grant an extension to the R134a refrigerant usage until 2017. German regulators agree.
5. France fails to recognize this extension given by Germany. It announced a ban on various Mercedes models that usually account for 50% of the car maker’s sales in that country.
6. Mercedes drags France to court. Administrative judges order France to lift the ban. France refuses to do so.
7. The European Commission is now looking into this matter and should come out with their announcement by September.

This comes at a time when new car sales throughout Europe is declining for the fifth consecutive year. It is also being reported that this on going battle could cost 15,000 jobs and Mercedes dealerships in France have seen a huge slide in footfalls.

Meanwhile in India, from Maruti’s to Mercedes’, most of the cars that are on sale, use R134a.

My Personal Perspective:
India follows EU rules, but I wonder how strongly will this ban have an impact on Mercedes India.
Adding to that since all the cars sold in India use the same refrigerant, rules would have to be applied on the entire automobile industry in India. This will have a major impact on the industry. To neutralize the impact, this ban may be passed on to Mercedes India with some leniency so that other manufacturers are not affected.

Last edited by Soumyajit9 : 7th August 2013 at 15:43. Reason: Added the "My Personal Perspective" section.
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Old 7th August 2013, 17:05   #2
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

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Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
Meanwhile in India, from Maruti’s to Mercedes’, most of the cars that are on sale, use R134a.
My Personal Perspective:
India follows EU rules, but I wonder how strongly will this ban have an impact on Mercedes India.
Adding to that since all the cars sold in India use the same refrigerant, rules would have to be applied on the entire automobile industry in India. This will have a major impact on the industry. To neutralize the impact, this ban may be passed on to Mercedes India with some leniency so that other manufacturers are not affected.
I will say there maybe zero impact, and may go completely unnoticed in India at least for the near future. Even though India follows EU, we are still so behind in imposing safety and pollution norms. For example, Euro 4 emission standards came into existence in 2005, whereas 8 years later we have still not implemented the equivalent Bharat Stage 4 standard across India.
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Old 8th August 2013, 11:11   #3
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

The EU rules still allow, it is just the Frogs!
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Old 8th August 2013, 14:46   #4
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
I will say there maybe zero impact, and may go completely unnoticed in India at least for the near future. Even though India follows EU, we are still so behind in imposing safety and pollution norms. For example, Euro 4 emission standards came into existence in 2005, whereas 8 years later we have still not implemented the equivalent Bharat Stage 4 standard across India.
What I feel is that the problem isn't with imposing the rule.
The major problem is with phasing out older norms.

Why is Euro3 allowed to co-exist with Euro4 ? Govt. should set deadlines for phasing out Euro3 vehicles. After a certain deadline, the manufacturer should not be allowed to sell a Euro3 or BS3 vehicle.
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Old 8th August 2013, 15:01   #5
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
What I feel is that the problem isn't with imposing the rule.
The major problem is with phasing out older norms.

Why is Euro3 allowed to co-exist with Euro4 ? Govt. should set deadlines for phasing out Euro3 vehicles. After a certain deadline, the manufacturer should not be allowed to sell a Euro3 or BS3 vehicle.
The Auto manufacturers can have BS4 all over. No issues. The problem is that oil companies are not willing to supply BS4 fuel all over the country.
So there is nothing Auto manufacturers can do. Onus is on the govt because govt owns the fuel companies!
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Old 8th August 2013, 15:13   #6
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The Auto manufacturers can have BS4 all over. No issues. The problem is that oil companies are not willing to supply BS4 fuel all over the country.
So there is nothing Auto manufacturers can do. Onus is on the govt because govt owns the fuel companies!
Ohh yes, how could I overlook that part too.
See, its a pathetic chain of events that seems like a vicious cycle now.

Just a quick question, are there separate BS4 and BS3 quality fuels ? Asking because I am not aware of these differences. I only know of Regular and Premium Petrol/Diesel.
I am from Bhubaneswar (Tier II city) and working in Bangalore (I guess Tier I city). In Bhubaneswar we have only Govt oil companies fuel stations (and a few Reliance outlets on highways), whereas in B'lore we have Shell and other private oil companies.

So is it that Shell can / does sell BS4 fuel where as Govt. oil companies can / does sell BS3 fuel ?
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Old 8th August 2013, 15:19   #7
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

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Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
Ohh yes, how could I overlook that part too.
See, its a pathetic chain of events that seems like a vicious cycle now.

Just a quick question, are there separate BS4 and BS3 quality fuels ? Asking because I am not aware of these differences. I only know of Regular and Premium Petrol/Diesel.
I am from Bhubaneswar (Tier II city) and working in Bangalore (I guess Tier I city). In Bhubaneswar we have only Govt oil companies fuel stations (and a few Reliance outlets on highways), whereas in B'lore we have Shell and other private oil companies.

So is it that Shell can / does sell BS4 fuel where as Govt. oil companies can / does sell BS3 fuel ?
For petrol cars I think you need 91 octane to be BS4 compliant. However, for diesel you require (Ultra?) Low sulfur diesel which oil companies are not willing to supply
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Old 8th August 2013, 15:39   #8
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

Am surprised the french haven't surrendered yet

Just kidding. Any reason why only the benz has been targeted? I have read that most auto manufacturers are using the R134a gas. Have the others already moved on before merc? Hard to believe that.

Thanks,
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Old 8th August 2013, 15:53   #9
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

why did they leave out the C, E and S class ? Dont they use the same refrigderant ?

Any manufacturer would use the same Air conditioning tech across the cars isnt it ?
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Old 8th August 2013, 16:01   #10
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
For petrol cars I think you need 91 octane to be BS4 compliant. However, for diesel you require (Ultra?) Low sulfur diesel which oil companies are not willing to supply
Though we are going way OT here, but still would like to understand this. I own a BS IV diesel car. But, I am from a non metro or non tier I location. So, I've been filling up "non BS IV" diesel all these years. But, I have not faced any fuel related problems ever till now. So, is it that --

1) the BS IV engines can very well cope with the diesel normally available everywhere in India or
2)the normal LSD available in most outlets are already BS IV ready?

I believe the former, as BS IV vehicles can be sold all over India and if there were any issues with a BS IV engine not being compatible with normal fuel the manufacturers would have mentioned this in their advisory. As such, I believe BS IV should be rolled out all over India.
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Old 8th August 2013, 16:22   #11
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

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Originally Posted by wanderer4x4 View Post
Though we are going way OT here, but still would like to understand this. I own a BS IV diesel car. But, I am from a non metro or non tier I location. So, I've been filling up "non BS IV" diesel all these years. But, I have not faced any fuel related problems ever till now. So, is it that --

1) the BS IV engines can very well cope with the diesel normally available everywhere in India or
2)the normal LSD available in most outlets are already BS IV ready?
Nothing will happen to the engine, but if you do not use BSIV fuel, your car will not meet BS4 emission regulations.
However, if and when EU-5 is enforced, there will be a diesel particulate filter attached which will mean it will choke up if non EU-5 fuel is supplied to the car.
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Old 8th August 2013, 16:55   #12
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

Do the pollution norms govern r134a usage? - I don't think this is a question of Bharat Stage 4 (or Euro 3) norms. I think this is more of a greenhouse gas global protocol issue - and not related to automobile pollution laws. For example when r134a was introduced, it was introduced not just in automobiles but also in all other refrigeration systems including acs and fridges.

Separately, given the Indian economy - with a huge class of vehicle users and owners not having the ability to immediately upgrade their vehicles in case of redundancy - a phase wise shift to the higher pollution norms bharat stage 4 (or euro 3) that we are presently doing is the ideal way. I think the issue is more from the implementation perspective.
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Old 8th August 2013, 17:36   #13
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
My Personal Perspective:
India follows EU rules, but I wonder how strongly will this ban have an impact on Mercedes India.
Adding to that since all the cars sold in India use the same refrigerant, rules would have to be applied on the entire automobile industry in India. This will have a major impact on the industry. To neutralize the impact, this ban may be passed on to Mercedes India with some leniency so that other manufacturers are not affected.
Thanks for this post.
After reading the effect on environment, I agree.
However, I'm not fully knowledgeable on this. Could you perhaps tell me what is the alternative to this refrigerant and the reasoning behind not implementing that right away. Is it Cost? or Effectiveness in cooling?
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Old 2nd September 2013, 13:54   #14
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Default Re: France bans sale of Mercedes A, B, CLA, SL Class

http://indianautosblog.com/2013/09/m...a-lifted-94055

As per IAB report above, a French court has ordered government to lift ban on registration of Mercs within 2 days . There aren't much details available, but, I will try to dig out details from other online source.
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