French court ends daimler sales ban

In the dispute between daimler and france, the french supreme administrative court has finally ruled in favor of the german automaker. France must continue to permit mercedes compact models. The conseil d’etat thus confirmed on monday in paris an interim decision from august 2013.

France had in the meantime refused to register compact models of mercedes, which had been certified by the kraftfahrtbundesamt with an old cold agent. Daimler had taken action against it.

The court based its decision, among other things, on the economic consequences for daimler. The judges pointed out that the intervention of the ministry of the environment in paris was not justified. In addition, the small fleet of vehicles affected in france had only a minor impact on the environment.

In stuttgart, the decision was buried: "we are pleased with the court’s decision and see ourselves vindicated," daimler said. In august, the company had already stressed that this would restore the balance between all car manufacturers in europe. According to daimler, more than 4,500 A-, B-, SL- and CLA-class vehicles could not be delivered.

French authorities had wanted to force the automaker to use a modern refrigerant in new models. They accused the company of unacceptable circumvention of EU environmental regulations.

The new r1234yf refrigerant is also controversial. Daimler always referred to safety tests in which it caught fire and released toxic gas. The federal motor transport authority had approved daimler’s use of the old coolant. Apart from france, all EU member states had recognized this.

Because the EU considers the continued use of the old agent as a violation of an obligation under the EU treaty, the EU commission has initiated infringement proceedings against germany.

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