Dyson courts victory over vacuum cleaner labelling
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.”