BRUSSELS: Bagless vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson suffered a blow Thursday in its bid to force rivals to carry more detailed energy efficiency labels, as the legal advisor to the EU’s top court said such a move would breach European rules.
The company, founded by Brexit-backing billionaire James Dyson, challenged the energy labelling of Bosch and Siemens vacuums, saying it was misleading customers because it was based on flawed laboratory testing.
But Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Oe, advocate general to the European Court of Justice, said that EU regulations strictly defined what information should be in energy labelling.
As a result, manufacturers are not permitted to add extra details — such as explaining the conditions under which the vacuum was tested.
“The regulation gives manufacturers and dealers no leeway whatsoever in terms of the format and content of the energy label, meaning that they cannot specify the conditions under which the tests that led to the vacuum cleaner’s energy classification were performed,” Oe said.
Since September 2014 all vacuum cleaners sold in the EU have been obliged to carry a label giving their energy
rating, to encourage customers to buy more efficient models.
Dyson argued that the tests on Bosch and Siemens vacuums were performed with empty dust bags, but under normal use at home the bags would be at least partly full, making them less efficient than the rating on the label.
Dyson cleaners, which do not use dust bags, do not suffer the same loss of performance.
A Belgian commercial court asked the ECJ to rule whether BSH — the parent company of Bosch and Siemens — was misleading customers by failing to mention that the tests were carried out with an empty bag.