PARIS (Reuters) -- Daimler said it is "very confident" that the French government will adhere to court ruling that lifts a freeze in the country on the sale of new Mercedes-Benz cars containing a banned refrigerant.
Daimler's refusal to stop using the air-conditioning refrigerant R134a prompted France to halt registrations of Mercedes A-class, B-class and SL cars built after June 12.
The refrigerant has been banned by the European Union for use in new models since the start of the year.
A French court today lifted the freeze. In an eight-page summary judgement, the court said the French environment ministry must now reexamine the government's decision.
The environment ministry must decide within 10 days whether to pursue the freeze on the Mercedes models, according to the summary ruling. The ruling does not compel French authorities to resume Mercedes registrations in the intervening 10-day period, a court official said.
A Daimler spokesman said: "We welcome the positive decision of the French court, which clearly rejected the French registration authority (decision) to prevent the registration of our cars."
Germany's KBA federal motor authority has allowed Daimler to continue to use R134a, a global warming agent more than 1,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Daimler says the KBA's decision means Mercedes vehicles using the refrigerant can be registered anywhere in the EU.
If maintained, the French ban could affect about 2 percent of global Mercedes sales, or 29,000 cars annually.