Dyson loses energy label case

Posted on 12 Nov 2015 by Fred Tongue

Dyson has lost its case to change the way EU energy labels are awarded.

Sir James Dyson, the company’s founder, argued that vacuum cleaners are tested when they are empty of dust and that this is not a representative way to test products.

He stated that the tests did not inform “consumers on the real environmental impact of the machine they are buying.”

In a separate legal action, the UK manufacturer has also claimed that some rival vacuum cleaners are achieving ratings in tests that are misleadingly good.

Dyson’s action was dismissed by the EU’s General Court “in its entirety” because the company had not shown or provided a more reliable or accurate way of testing for energy ratings.

It said: “Dyson states that the regulation misleads consumers because the cleaning performance is tested only when the vacuum cleaner’s receptacle is empty and not during use.

“The court acknowledges that the suction performance and energy efficiency of a vacuum cleaner with a dust-loaded receptacle will be reduced due to dust accumulation.

“It observes, however, that the [European] Commission could not use tests conducted on the basis of a dust-loaded receptacle, as they are not reliable, accurate and reproducible, as required by the regulation.”

Dyson also claimed that EU energy labelling law “discriminates” in favour of bagged vacuum cleaners, a claim the court also dismissed.

A Dyson spokeswoman said it was “deplorable” that the ECJ “endorses tests that don’t attempt to represent in-home use, and we believe this is causing consumers to be misled.”

The company added: “By this judgment, the ECJ has given its support to unrepresentative tests devised by the Commission with a small group of European manufacturers which in our view disregards the interests of consumers in Europe.

“The judgment is all the more surprising in view of the revelations about car testing in the VW scandal where the tests do not reflect real life usage.

“We don’t believe the ECJ is acting in the interests of consumers and will continue to fight for testing and labelling, which is.”