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Bosch, you suck! Dyson says VW pal cheated in vacuum cleaner tests

Brits bash Bosch

Dyson DC58 Animal

Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson is taking legal action against Bosch and Siemens, accusing the pair of cheating in energy efficiency tests.

According to Dyson, the Siemens Q8.0 and Bosch GL80/In'Genius ProPerform vacuum cleaners conveniently operate at a lower power level in lab tests, and dramatically increase their power consumption when used in the real homes. This led to the two rival machines unfairly gaining AAAA energy efficiency stickers from European regulators, it is claimed.

On Tuesday, Dyson said it has filed for an injunction against Siemens in Germany, and started proceedings in Belgium. It also said it has start legal action against Bosch in the Netherlands, and appealed to France's advertising watchdog to get Bosch's ads changed.

The Bosch and Siemens appliances have a sensor that detects when the cleaner is drawing in dirt, allowing them to boost the power intake of the motor from 750W to 1600W when cleaning a filthy floor.

According to Dyson, however, the Bosch and Siemens vacuums never go out of the low-power mode during energy standards testing due to this sensor.

"Just like the testing regime for the 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," a Dyson spokesperson said of the claims.

The allegations from Dyson come after Bosch was embroiled in the controversy over Volkswagen cars circumventing clean air tests. The German automaker has tried to distance itself from the issue by blaming unnamed "rogue software engineers" while Bosch, which developed hardware and software for Volkswagen, said it tried to warn the company about the diesel engine shenanigans years ago to no avail. ®

Updated to add

A spokesperson for Bosch has been in touch to say:

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH vehemently rejects the assertions made that consumers had been misled.

All BSH vacuum cleaners are tested in accordance with the requirements of the EU Ecodesign Regulation for vacuum cleaners. Precise and standardised measurements have been defined by the EU for measuring the values on the Energy Label. As a result, appliance performance at home is consistent with laboratory performance in line with the values on the energy label.

The values on the energy label therefore provide consumers with key performance features such as energy efficiency class or cleaning performance. BSH strenuously rejects the allegations of manipulation and reserves the right to take legal action if necessary.

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