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James Dyson accuses Bosch and Siemens of cheating “like Volkswagen”

The inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, James Dyson, has accused rivals Bosch and Siemens of cheating consumers with misleading energy-efficiency ratings for products.
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Dyson has claimed that the two firms installed control electronics into machines to wrongfully increase energy consumption when in use. While both companies achieved an AAAA energy rating during lab tests with a clean bag in use, sensors within the vacuum cleaners tell the motor to increase energy from 750W to 1,600W when the bag is full of dirt so as to maintain performance. This, Dyson claimed, reduced the energy rating to an E or F.

“Just like the testing regime for diesel engines in cars, the European regulations state that vacuum cleaners should be tested in a laboratory without any attempt to replicate real-world conditions – which leads to misleading results,” Dyson said.

The company claimed that it was challenging the current testing standards by arguing that vacuums should henceforth be tested in the living room rather than a lab. 

Furthermore, Dyson has taken legal action against Bosch and Siemens, and if his claims are successful then certain models of Bosch and Siemens vacuum cleaners may need to be recalled.

Dyson said: “Such behaviour is akin to that seen in the Volkswagen scandal. It seems that the industry is rife with manufacturers engineering to find their way around tests, rather than engineering better, more efficient technology.”

Read more about the Volkswagen scandal:

He previously stated that the EU Energy Label regulations launched in 2013 were flawed. From September 1, vacuum cleaners over 1,600W have been banned, and by 2017 a 900W machine will become the maximum motor output for any vacuum cleaner sold in Europe. The EU’s directive is an energy-saving measure and is accompanied by the introduction of a new A to G rating.

Dyson has not been quite about the fact, having said that the world of regulation is “murky” and provided “a smokescreen for manufacturers to hide behind. [There are] fridges tested with no food, vacuum cleaners tested with no dust, and washing machines tested at inaccurate temperatures. The regulators clearly live in a place that looks nothing like the real world and manufacturers are taking advantage.”

Bosch and Seimens said in a joint statement: “We do not understand these assertions by Dyson and we strenuously reject them. All Bosch and Siemens vacuum cleaners are measured in compliance with European energy regulations. Appliance performance at home is consistent with laboratory performance – and any suggestion to the contrary is grossly misleading.”

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Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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