Honeywell says ‘carmakers convinced its coolant is safe’

U.S. auto supplier Honeywell refuted claims that its new carbon-neutral air conditioning refrigerant was unsafe, citing findings by an automotive industry research group that it said backed up the product.

The comments by the U.S. conglomerate came after German carmaker BMW AG left an industry research program investigating the safety of the refrigerant. BMW said  it disagreed with the test methods and following the lead of Daimler AG and Audi, which also quit the program.

Honeywell said today that the latest research backed its view that the new coolant was fit to equip cars, its only commercial use given the refrigerant’s high price.

It cited comments made on Monday by the international Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which is carrying out the research, that the “high level of confidence (in refrigerant HFO-1234yf) continues to grow” since combustion requires “extremely idealized conditions.”  Isn’t this the same type of statement you would expect from a drink driver. “I only hit those people because they were driving the other way (idealized conditions)”.

Terrence Hahn, vice president and general manager for Honeywell Fluorine Products, said today: “The SAE’s latest evaluation, combined with years of other extensive testing, leaves no doubt that HFO-1234yf is safe for automotive applications.”

SAE aims to complete its research and publish a final report in the second quarter of this year.

Daimler, whose Mercedes-Benz marque counts safety as one of its core brand values, banned the use of HFO-1234yf in its cars on fears it would prove to be flammable and create a toxic gas called hydrogen fluoride when burning.

Daimler believes SAE conclusions from 2009 mistakenly failed to classify HFO-1234yf as a potential source of a primary fire. Daimler also argues that it is inherently more dangerous than the non-flammable R134a being phased out.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in the development and commercialization of refrigerant HFO-1234yf. Honeywell and DuPont stand to profit from what eventually is expected to be a billion dollar market. This is why Honeywell and Dupont are pushing this product, not that they are concerned either way whether it does or does not pose serious risks!

When considering everyone’s’ position, consider their serious life threatening blunders like Teflon  causes cancer, the original refrigerant R12 was a Dupont product and was used for decades and sources question the main reason for its replacement was it that Dupont’s patents ran out. Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are interested in safety first. Shouldn’t you be?