French ban Mercedes for using banned refrigerant in AC systems — 95% of French cars use same refrigerant

The Financial Times reports:

A ban by France’s socialist government on the registration of several top-end Mercedes-Benz models has infuriated the German luxury carmaker and forced Brussels to step in to try to defuse the growing dispute.

Sales of thousands of the most prestigious Mercedes cars have been halted in France since Paris last month refused to allow the registration of four new models that include a refrigerant in their air-conditioning systems that has been banned by the EU on environmental grounds.

The issue escalated late last week when the government invoked an EU “safeguard procedure”, allowing it to act unilaterally to prevent a serious risk to road safety, the environment or public health. It acted after a French court had ordered a 10-day stay of execution for Daimler while the registration block was reviewed.

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