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R12 Freon was banned in 1996 because of environmental impact and evidence that it was helping to create a hole in the ozone layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. It was replaced with R134a refrigerant that is still used in some older vehicles today.
Then, it was discovered that R1234YF, sometimes just called yf or 1234yf, has an even lower impact on the ozone layer and is currently being used in most newer cars. It’s important to know that currently, you can’t retrofit an R134a auto AC system to use R1234YF as they are not interchangeable.
The 2013 Cadillac XTS was the first U.S. vehicle A/C to use R-1234yf refrigerant. R-1234yf was also tried in the Cadillac ATS, but stopped only one month into production because of A/C compressor noise and vibration issues. Early production ATS models were recalled and retrofitted back to R-134a. Oddly enough, R1234yf apparently works fine in an A/C system designed for R-1234yf.
In the 2014 model year, R-1234yf was used in the Chrysler 300, Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge Charger, Challenger, Dart and Jeep Cherokee. In 2015, it was used in the Chrysler 200.
As of 2019, a majority of auto makers are using R-1234yf in almost all of their cars and trucks. These companies receive fuel economy credits for vehicles that are converted to R-1234yf, which help them achieve the new higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements.