Mobile air-conditioning systems (MACs)
The European Directive on mobile air-conditioning systems (MACs) aims at reducing emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the air-conditioning systems fitted to passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
25.09.2014 - Commission requests that Germany comply with Directive on cars air-conditioning
The Commission has sent a formal request to Germany to take the necessary actions to apply the EU Directive on Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC). The Directive stipulates a gradual ban on the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases - which have a high global warming potential - in cars' air-conditioning systems.
Germany has infringed EU law in so far as it allowed a German manufacturer to put on the EU market, between January and June 2013, vehicles that were not in conformity with the Directive and decided not to impose any remedial measures on this manufacturer. Furthermore, in May 2013, the German approval authorities accepted the request from the manufacturer to discontinue the use of current type approvals for those vehicles and to extend instead old vehicle approvals for these same vehicles. The Commission considers that in granting these extensions the German authorities have circumvented the application of the MAC Directive, depriving it of its intended effects.
The Commission is committed to ensuring that the climate objectives of the MAC Directive are fulfilled and that the law is uniformly applied throughout the EU internal market, so that fair competitive conditions are respected for all economic operators
Germany now has two months to take the necessary measures to comply with the Commission's request. If they fail to do so, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.
Refrigerants used in mobile air conditioning systems (MAC) - Questions & Answers [72 KB] - 25.09.2014
07.03.2014 - Safety aspects of the use of refrigerant R1234yf - scientific review
A scientific review of the research regarding the safety aspects of the use of refrigerant R1234yf in Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) systems concludes that there is no evidence of a serious risk in the use of this refrigerant in MAC systems under normal and foreseeable conditions of use (according to the existing legal framework on the general safety of products).
More information: MAC Directive: no evidence to support the safety concerns
MAC Directive: background
The European Directive 2006/40/EC on mobile air-conditioning systems (MACs) aims at reducing emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases in the air-conditioning systems fitted to passenger cars (vehicles of category M1) and light commercial vehicles (category N1, class 1) and therefore contribute to the EU strategy of climate action. This is to be achieved via a gradual ban on the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a high global warming potential (GWP higher than 150) in MAC systems. The currently used refrigerant in MAC systems, R134a, has a GWP of 1300. The Directive does not stipulate any specific refrigerant or system to comply with its requirements, leaving the choice on the technical solutions to the car manufacturers.
The Directive is being gradually enforced over three phases:
- From 21 June 2008 the car manufacturers have been unable to obtain a type approval for a new type of vehicle if it was fitted with MACs designed to contain gases with a GWP higher than 150 leaking more than 40 grams per year (one evaporator system) and 60 grams per year (dual evaporator systems). As from 21 June 2009 this applied to all new vehicles put on the EU market.
- From 1 January 2011, the Directive stipulates that air conditioning systems of new types of vehicles must be filled with a refrigerant with a low impact on the climate. Therefore, since that date fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP higher than 150 can no longer be used in the MAC systems of these (newly type-approved) vehicles.
- From 1 January 2017, the Directive stipulates a total ban of the use of fluorinated greenhouse gases with a GWP higher than 150 in all new vehicles put on the EU market. From that date on new vehicles with MAC systems using these gases cannot be registered, sold and enter into service in the EU.