The world of vacuum cleaners isn't exactly known for its gripping legal drama... except maybe for the one Dyson has found itself in recently. After launching legal action against the European Commission last year over new (and potentially discriminatory) energy efficiency rules for vacuum cleaners, Dyson now faces the ugly end of an EU General Court verdict. According to the BBC, the Court dismissed the whole of Dyson's argument earlier today because it couldn't come up with more reliable power tests that should be used instead.
Let's take a step back for a moment. Dyson's beef boils down to the accuracy, or lack therein, of the standard EU tests used to measure power efficiency. Rather than test machines for how much power they suck while laden with dust (you know, the natural state of existence for most vacuums), EU regulations maintain that manufacturers should test their models while completely empty. The thing is, some vacuums seem to dramatically crank up the amount of power they use while there's dust and dirt inside them -- that's why Dyson went after rivals Bosch and Siemens in late October. When Dyson tested two AAAA-rated models (Siemen's Q8.0 and Bosch's GL80/In'Genius ProPerform) themselves, they noticed that the motors used to suck up gunk threw themselves into high gear when the vacuums contained dust; at worst, they drew more than 1600W of power, compared to the 750W drawn under test conditions. That surge in power consumption is supposedly due to a set of sensors inside both models that measure the amount of dust in the bag and spin up the motor more to prevent a loss of suction. Great for your carpets, maybe not so much for your electric bill.
In the end, the energy rating system Dyson hates so much isn't going anywhere for now. The verdict could also mean an easy victory for Bosch in the countersuit it launched against Dyson, and the upstart vacuum maker doesn't seem to have a firm plan in place -- Bloomberg Business reports that the company will "reassess" things before moving to appeal the decision.