Dyson legal challenge to EU vacuum legislation

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UK manufacturer Dyson has released a statement following the consumer reaction to the introduction of EU legislation on September 1 that limits the wattage capacity of vacuum cleaners and introduces energy labels.


The statement says: “Dyson has always shown that through efficient engineering, high performance can be achieved without the need for extra environmental costs. That’s why Dyson engineers have never used motors exceeding 1600 watts, and the Dyson range is already compliant with the motor caps being applied. 1,400 watts is actually the largest we have ever specified.”

The issue, for Dyson, concerns the energy labels. The statement continues: “In its current form, Dyson believes that the Energy Label regime hides important information on the true environmental and economic impact of a vacuum cleaner, overstating the efficiency of bagged technology in particular.

“The EU energy label tests machines empty and dust free in laboratory conditions. But the performance in the home is different to that in the lab: bags and filters will clog with dust as the machine is used, leading to a loss of suction and a drop of performance. As suction drops, energy is wasted. The label currently ignores this. It also runs counter to the way the IEC tests vacuum cleaners internationally, and ignores the test method employed by consumer reports. Dyson machines maintain full performance in use and don’t lose suction – wasting less energy.”

Dyson also criticises the energy label for failing to include a measure of bags and filters required for bagged models made by other manufacturers, or how much they cost each year, as well as the environmental impact of such consumables. This could lead to the consumer being misled, Dyson says, about the long-term financial and environmental impact of their machine.

The label is being challenged by Dyson under judicial review, with the hearing not expected until early next year.

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