ACtion Magazine - May 2013 - (Page 16)

Opel finds no safety issues with R-1234yf In a Reuters News Agency article published on April 3, General Motors’ German brand Opel said that it had found no evidence that R-1234yf presents any unusual safety hazard in a crash test on its new Mokka SUV. This was in response to Opel’s domestic rivals Daimler and Volkswagen announcing that they will develop air conditioning systems that use R-744 refrigerant in order to avoid what they say is a fire hazard posed by P-1234yf. Opel said a realistic test conducted together with the independent testing agency TÜV Rheinland had failed to ignite refrigerant that leaked from the system after impact. The test is the first to be published since Daimler said last September that R-1234yf, the only single-component refrigerant on the market that conforms to a new European Union directive on greenhouse gases, could be the primary source for a vehicle fire. Reuters reports that many in the industry have questioned the relevance of Daimler’s test procedure, and that its findings have “rattled global carmakers, which had so far universally agreed to employ the chemical.” The EU has ordered a phase-out of R-134a, beginning with new-vehicle platforms introduced this year. In response, Opel has designed its new Mokka model to use R-1234yf and began selling that model this year. Opel research and development chief Michael Ableson said there was THE NEW SAE STANDARD: R-1234yf WE’RE READY, ARE YOU? Valve cores and housings sold separately. Reader Reply 16 ACTION • May 2013 “no alternative in the near future” to R-1234yf, and that systems using R-744 “are still in the development stage and are years away from entering the market.” In Daimler’s crash simulations conducted internally last August, a fire started under the hood when a mixture of R-1234yf and compressor oil came into contact with the hot exhaust system of a turbo-charged gasoline engine at around 650 degrees Celsius (1,200 Fahrenheit). Opel said it had crash-tested a 1.4 liter turbo-charged Mokka at 50 km/h (31 mph), damaging the air conditioning system and causing a leak near the hot engine manifold, but without causing a fire. Gunnar Pflug, head of the traffic safety center at TÜV Rheinland, said the test had been “designed and conducted under TÜV Rheinland’s supervision to recreate the extreme conditions that Daimler says are necessary to induce a fire.” It included reaching an engine temperature more than 100˚ C (212˚ F) higher than that recorded by Daimler. “Much faster speeds and there would have been nothing left of the engine compartment,” said Pflug, “What we did was no standard test, this was the first of its kind.” Honeywell concedes that the refrigerant/oil mixture is indeed flammable and releases toxic gases when burning, but argues that Daimler’s simulations employed ‘ideal’ conditions expressly designed to create a desired effect. Daimler, Mercedes’ parent, says simulations as opposed to real crash tests were necessary because each car deforms differently during impact, even if the same test parameters are always applied. Pflug said this was only partly true. “The same parts are not always damaged exactly the same way…” We’re No.8 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its top 10 complaint categories for 2012. For the first time ever, the agency received more than two million complaints. Of the two million complaints, 18 percent were related to identity theft. Of those 18 percent, almost half were related to tax or wage fraud. Here is a complete list of the top 10 complaint categories: 1. Identity Theft - 369,132 complaints 2. Debt collection - 199,721 complaints 3. Banks and Lenders - 132,340 complaints 4. Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales - 115,184 complaints 5. Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries - 98,479 complaints 6. Impostor Scams - 98,479 complaints 7. Internet Services - 81,438 complaints 8. Auto-Related Complaints - 78,062 complaints 9. Telephone and Mobile Services - 76,783 complaints 10. Credit Cards - 51,550 complaints The FTC uses the Consumer Sentinel Network to record complaints throughout the year. The secure database is available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies across the country and helps agencies research cases and track targets. Learn more about the 2012 complaints from FTC. ❆

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - May 2013

Action Magazine - May 2013
Freeze Frame
Virtual View
Under the Southern Cross
Leonard's Law
News & Updates
What Is Happening in the Auto A/C Industry?
New Equipment, Tools and Service Parts for 2013
Striking Customer Service Gold
Asociation News
Quick Check
New Products & Services
Last Watch

ACtion Magazine - May 2013