Answer given by Mr Tajani on behalf of the Commission
The Commission applies the principle of technology neutrality. It is for the industry to choose which gas to use in order to comply with Directive 2006/40/EC. The Commission is not aware of any vehicle manufacturers using a refrigerant other than HFO-1234yf for the purposes of Directive 2006/40/EC.
HFO-1234yf has been classified by the producers as flammable gas, Category C, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 and has not been classified as hazardous to the environment. According to the information contained in the Material Safety Data Sheet, the flammability risk of HFO-1234fy is significantly less than the flammability risk associated with the use of gasoline. There are also estimates that HFO-1234yf may form dangerous hydrogen fluoride (HF) under certain conditions. Studies have been conducted by car manufacturers on the probabilities of an engine compartment leakage from a leak or crash resulting in ignition from HFO-1234yf and in both tests no fires occurred and no toxic substances were released.
MAC systems are also subject to the Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC (PED). In particular, the levels of flammability and toxicity of its refrigerant determine the stringency of the conformity assessment procedures applied to the MAC systems.
HFO-1234yf has been registered by two legal entities in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (‘REACH’). Registration under REACH requires registrants to implement risk management measures.
The Commission believes that the combined effect of these different aspects of the EU legislation ensure a high level of safety for the citizens and for the environment, while supporting the goals of fighting climate change.