Remember R-12 refrigerant, better known as "Freon?" Remember how, about 20 years ago, the auto industry begin switching to R-134A refrigerant, because it was less harmful to the environment, unlike R-12, which contained chloroflourocarbons (CFCs), which contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Well, R-134A isn't harmless, either, and today, GM has announced it will switch to another new refrigerant for all 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC models.
Dubbed HFO-1234yf, this new refrigerant is claimed to cut down on airborne refrigerant from cars by 99 percent, and it breaks down in the atmosphere much faster than its predecessors. Produced by Honeywell, HFO-1234yf will break down in 11 days as opposed to 13 years.
This change will give GM credits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for making refrigerants more environmentally-friendly, but if it works as advertised, we might all be able to breathe easier.
[Green Car Reports, GM]