France is now taking its beef with Mercedes out on its own citizens.
The dispute between the French government and German automaker Mercedes-Benz continues to widen, and turns ever uglier. The French environmental ministry recently moved to ban sales of some of the biggest-selling MB models because of their use of non-EU-approved A/C refrigerant, a gas which Mercedes says is actually safer than the approved gas in an accident. MB has now won a court case allowing them to sell cars while the gas is under investigation.
The German automotive governing body, the KBA, has confirmed MB’s claims and is conducting the further research needed. France has ignored the court ruling and now formalized the ban on the A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class. Perhaps the ugliest part of the dispute, 2,704 French MB customers who have already bought their cars are now being blocked by their own government from registering their new cars. Unwillingness to trade safety for a small environmental advantage might seem reasonable, but this is likely a political move on France’s part, designed to give domestic companies a boost, and logic has little to do with it.