RALEIGH, N.C.-A potentially dangerous air conditioning refrigerant not approved for use in motor vehicles is being marketed that way. The Independent Garage Owners Association of North Carolina-which represents more than 800 members-said the refrigerant marketed as HC-12a poses serious health and legal risks.
HC-12a is being marketed as a substitute for R-12 (also known by the trade name Freon), according to Bob Bradford, the association's training and technical services director.
A ban on Freon production went into effect Dec. 31, 1995.
Mr. Bradford said HC-12a is highly flammable and creates a risk of explosion when used in or around cars.
There are four approved alternatives to Freon. But A/C systems built to use Freon cannot use mixtures of it with another refrigerant and must be modified to use an approved alternative alone.