Using HC could see you in court
The use of HC refrigerant has been a hot topic for some time, but a recent court case has brought it more fully into the spotlight. The case involved a $3,000 fine and $690 in costs for a mechanic who was careless about the use of HC refrigerant. That carelessness resulted in an explosion that destroyed a customer’s car, many of their belongings, and severely damaged their home.
Now, those former customers are suing the mechanic in the Supreme Court, looking for compensation for the fire and the damage it caused, as well as injuries that they are claiming resulted from the explosion and fire. They allege that the mechanic was negligent, and that he breached his duty by not avoiding HC refrigerant when he worked on their automotive air conditioning system. One of the biggest problems with this case, though, is not the damage it caused. The biggest problem is that it happened in early 2012.
That means it took nearly three years for the case to make its way to court. In all that time, the former customers haven’t received any kind of compensation from the mechanic, and have been struggling to rebuild what they can of their lives. This was not a small explosion and a little fire that was easily doused. Three fire engines were required to put it out, and the home sustained significant damage. The car could not be salvaged at all. The mechanic was working on the automotive air conditioning in the customers’ garage, and the HC refrigerant he was using began to leak.
Because HC refrigerant is a highly flammable substance, there is a direct link between the leak of the gas and the explosion and fire. For mechanics that are considering retrofitting automotive air conditioning systems with HC refrigerant, this case can serve as a strong warning. Mechanics who do this can be prosecuted, and they can also be sued for the damages they cause. There are also insurance issues to consider, as the insurance provider may go after the mechanic for using these types of chemicals.
The vehicle owner will be covered, but the insurance company may then seek compensation from the mechanic whose work on the automotive air conditioning system directly contributed to the need for the insurance claim. The mechanic’s own commercial insurance company may also seek compensation, if the need for – and use of – flammable materials wasn’t properly disclosed when the insurance policy was taken out. That’s not to mention the risk of loss of life and the property damage that can be caused when automotive air conditioning HC refrigerant explodes or causes a fire.
If you need automotive air conditioning work done on your vehicle, make sure you choose a mechanic that will not be using automotive air conditioning HC refrigerant. That can give you peace of mind, and help to reduce any risk of explosion or fire. Lyons Aircon avoids using automotive air conditioning HC, so you’ll never have to worry about the dangers and risks of it when you bring your car or truck to us!