Cold agent dispute: honeywell criticizes kba tests

In the dispute over the r1234yf refrigerant, U.S. Manufacturer honeywell is sharply attacking the german federal motor transport authority (KBA), accusing the agency of rigged tests. This emerges from a letter from honeywell manager kenneth gayer to KBA head ekhard zinke, which was made available to the financial news agency dpa-AFX on thursday. In the letter dated 21. August, the company criticizes the authorities for testing the coolant under unusual conditions. In one of these tests, the substance had recently caught fire, as it had at the carmaker daimler.

The suspicion arose that the tests "were developed and conducted with an expected result in mind, and were adjusted in the course of the test series until the desired result was finally achieved," the honeywell manager writes. In initial crash tests and subsequent trials, the coolant had not ignited. This only happened when the testers specifically streamed out the agent. This was to simulate what consequences, for example, a more violent impact could have. A KBA spokesman did not initially want to comment on the honeywell letter.

The U.S. Manufacturer continues to criticize that the preliminary results cast a false light on the safety of the cold agent. The KBA had published the results two weeks ago and also sent them to the EU commission in brussels. The authorities had stated that they did not see any serious danger within the framework of the product safety law and therefore did not initiate a recall.

The source of the dispute is that daimler is boycotting the coolant after it burst into flames in its own tests in the fall. The swabians thus violated EU law, which only allows particularly climate-friendly refrigerants for car air-conditioning systems in many cars. That is why, for example, france is currently blocking the registration of certain mercedes-benz models. Honeywell insists on the safety of the chemical. A lot of money is at stake for the U.S. Company and its partner dupont: experts estimate the global market at several billion U.S. Dollars.