BETHESDA, Md.-The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the approval of all alternative refrigerants for motor vehicles, with the exception of HFC-134a. In a letter to EPA Administrator Carol Browner, the AIAM said the proliferation of motor vehicle refrigerants jeopardizes efforts of the EPA and car makers to prevent contamination of the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) supply, and curtails measures taken to reduce the ozone-depleting substance.
According to the Automotive Parts & Accessories Association, the import group said the EPA has failed to fully enforce requirements that unique fittings and labels be used as part of any A/C retrofit.
AIAM also warned that alternative refrigerants receiving approval by the EPA are not subject to the same level of durability testing that HFC-134a has undergone. Consumers will suffer, it cautioned, if the alternatives cause deterioration of hoses, seals, components, or complete A/C system failure.
AIAM also called for requirements that all producers of R-12 (Freon) alternatives provide proof of durability testing in motor vehicle A/C systems, and that the EPA establish specific enforcement procedures to ensure alternatives are sold only with unique fittings.
The EPA has approved five alternative refrigerants thus far.
Brake Parts Inc. has acquired from Allied Signal Corp. the assets of its Gattatin, Tenn.-based Commercial Products Division.
Tenneco Automotive recently purchased Clevite Elastomers, a manufacturer of suspension components and engine mounts, for $300 million.