Rigorous Performance and Safety Testing
HFO-1234yf performed extremely well in an extensive industry evaluation of the safety and performance of low GWP candidates for automotive refrigeration. A Cooperative Research Program, conducted by SAE International, was sponsored by 33 major automotive manufacturers and Tier One suppliers, based in Europe, Asia and the U.S. As part of the SAE Program, research was conducted at international laboratories, including independent third-party facilities, to investigate safety and risk, including flammability and toxicity, efficiency and performance, and material compatibility.
In November 2009, the sponsors of the SAE CRP1234 concluded that “HFO-1234yf can be used as the global replacement refrigerant in future mobile air conditioning systems and it can be safely accommodated through established industry standards and practices for vehicle design, engineering, manufacturing, and service.” An SAE presentation on this program(1) stated that “Extensive testing at third-party facilities did not identify significant risks for the use of HFO-1234yf in mobile air-conditioning systems.”
In September 2012, the the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA – German Association of the Automotive Industry) presented the results of its independent review of the SAE CRP1234 testing data as certified by TÜV SÜD, concluding that “R1234yf equipped vehicles are as safe as those using R134a – for occupants, mechanics, first responders and fire fighters.”