Study team's final conclusion on R-1234yf: it is safe

  • 25-Jun-2013 01:22 EDT

The risk of a vehicle occupant being exposed to a fire due to use of the new refrigerant R-1234yf is conservatively estimated at 3 x 10-12 event per vehicle operating hour—almost six orders of magnitude less than the current risk of vehicle fire due to all causes and "well below risks that are commonly viewed as acceptable by the general public," according to a cooperative research project (CRP) administered by SAE International and referred to in a June 25 press release from the organization. Members of CRP1234-4 undertook new testing and analysis of the refrigerant shortly after Daimler in September 2012 announced that its own testing showed R-1234yf to be less safe than an earlier SAE CRP team had claimed. The CRP1234-4 team confirmed the original CRP's claim that the refrigerant is safe, and found that the testing by Daimler was "unrealistic" because it "created extreme conditions that favored ignition while ignoring many mitigating factors that would be present in an actual real-world collision." Concurring with those conclusions are all OEM members of the CRP1234-4 team: Chrysler/Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, PSA, Renault, and Toyota. Click here for more information on the SAE announcement.

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