On December 2, 2013, a new rule went into effect that allows HFO-1234yf (1234-yf) to be sold to consumers so they can recharge their own vehicles air conditioning systems. The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the Automotive Refrigerant Products Institute (ARPI) filed suit against the EPA claiming the studies used to make the original toxicity determination that would have banded consumers from purchasing 1234yf grossly overstated human exposure levels. After a review of the data submitted by AAIA and ARPI that indicated there were no adverse health effects on consumers from recharging their vehicle air conditioner using 1234yf, the EPA decided to reverse its decision.
1234yf was developed by Honeywell and DuPont, and will likely be used to replace 134a by many car manufacturers due to its low Global Warming Potential (GWP). 1234yf has a GWP of 4, while 134a has a GWP of 1430, making it significantly better for the environment. This product will seeing a very slow introduction to the vehicle population so most consumers will not see a need to purchase 1234yf recharge products for many years.
General Motors has already begun using 1234yf in some of their vehicles’ air conditioning systems. Other manufacturers are expected to follow suit.
To see the Federal Register Notice, visit this link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-01/pdf/2013-25981.pdf