* Daimler to switch to Honeywell-made coolant in 2017
* Models with R1234yf to get “specific protective system”
* Daimler to phase in CO2 as car coolant from next year (Adds more detail from statement and background)
BERLIN, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Daimler has bowed to pressure from regulators to use a car coolant that has for years been at the centre of a dispute between the European Union and Germany.
The European Commission last year launched legal proceedings against Germany, which has backed Daimler’s refusal to use the R1234yf coolant developed by U.S. conglomerate Honeywell in partnership with Dupont.
Daimler, which has said the coolant can cause fire in front-end collisions, said on Tuesday it will install a “specific protective system” in vehicles switching to R1234yf to ensure safety.
The world’s third-largest maker of luxury cars has insisted on using R134a, a global warming agent that is more than 1,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, but does not burst into flames.
EU rules will require carmakers from 2017 to use coolants with a global warming potential no more than 150 times that of carbon dioxide.
The Stuttgart-based manufacturer also said it will phase in carbon dioxide (CO2) as a refrigerant in S-Class and E-Class models starting next year. The two-track approach is required as it is not feasible to roll out CO2-based air conditioning technology across the fleet by January 2017, Daimler said.
The Commission was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Christoph Steitz and David Evans)