Dyson courts vic­tory over vac­uum cleaner la­belling

Western Morning News - - Westcountry Business - BY JOSIE CLARKE

Dyson has won a bat­tle with the Euro­pean courts over en­ergy la­belling laws for vac­uum clean­ers af­ter the Gen­eral Court up­held its ar­gu­ment that ef­fi­ciency tests car­ried out on empty ma­chines do not re­flect con­di­tions as close as pos­si­ble to real-life use.

The Gen­eral Court rul­ing an­nuls the reg­u­la­tion on the en­ergy la­belling of vac­uum clean­ers, but the la­bel will re­main in force for a min- imum of two months and 10 days to al­low time for ap­peal. Dyson said the rul­ing was “wel­come news and a win for con­sumers across Europe”.

All vac­uum clean­ers sold in the EU have been sub­ject to en­ergy la­belling re­quire­ments since Septem­ber 2014, aimed at in­form­ing con­sumers about their ef­fi­ciency based on test­ing that takes place when the ma­chine is empty of dust.

But Dyson, best known for its bag­less vac­uum cleaner, has long ar­gued that mod­els us­ing bags and fil­ters to sep­a­rate dust from the air­flow can be­come clogged, of­ten lead­ing to loss of suc­tion and mean­ing a con­sumer could buy an A-rated ma­chine that drops to G-grade ef­fi­ciency as it is used in the home.

The com­pany’s le­gal ac­tion be­gan in 2013 when it brought a case against the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to the EU Gen­eral Court ar­gu­ing that, to re­flect a con­sumer’s real-life ex­pe­ri­ence of a prod­uct, per­for­mance must be tested in real-world con­di­tions us­ing dust. In Novem­ber 2015, the Gen­eral Court dis­missed Dyson’s claims and as­serted that dust-loaded test­ing was not re­li­able or “re­pro­ducible” and there­fore could not be adopted.

The court also ruled out Dyson’s claim that the cur­rent reg­u­la­tions “dis­crim­i­nate” in favour of bagged vac­uum clean­ers.

A Dyson spokes­woman said: “This is wel­come news and a win for con­sumers across Europe.”

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