Dyson counter-sued by Bosch over ‘cheating’ allegations

Dyson is being countersued by the company behind Bosch over allegations that the British brand made “false” claims about its vacuum cleaners, reports The Telegraph.

Sir James Dyson last week claimed that Bosch was misleading customers over the energy efficiency of some of its appliances, as his company took the German firm to court.

“Bosch has installed control electronics into some of its machines to cheat the EU energy label,” he told The Telegraph.

Sir James has alleged that the AAAA energy rating achieved by some of Bosch’s vacuum cleaner models was achieved during lab tests.

BSH Hausgeräte, which manufactures home appliances under the Bosch and Siemens brands, said the allegations were “unfounded and untrue”.

“We have long since been aware that James Dyson has a history of taking a very aggressive approach against his competitors and has a desire to be in the public eye,” said BSH chief executive Karsten Ottenberg.

“With his completely unfounded accusations of cheating in the past week he has now overstepped the mark, which is why we will now initiate legal steps against Dyson.”

Sir James hit back at the German company, which is the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, saying that he was “disappointed” by the response.

“We will not be diverted from what is a crucial consumer issue,” he said. “What Bosch and Siemens have done, we believe, circumvents the purpose of the EU energy regulations and misleads consumers.”
There has been a long-standing rivalry between the two companies.

In 2012, Dyson discovered a mole, under the employ of Bosch, working at the company’s Malmesbury base, passing information back to the manufacturing giant. That issue was settled out of court.

Last year, BSH claimed that Dyson had advertised incorrect values on the energy label for its appliances and courts in Germany ruled that these values had to be changed by Dyson throughout Europe.

The most recent tussle between the two brands concerns the AAAA energy rating achieved by some of Bosch’s vacuum cleaner models. Sir James alleges that this was achieved during lab tests with a clean bag in use and was not applicable to real-world usage.

Sir James likened the issue to the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal, saying: “It seems that industry is rife with manufacturers engineering to find their way around tests, rather than engineering better, more efficient technology. This behaviour is seriously misleading customers.”

Dyson performed independent laboratory testing on the vacuum cleaners in real-world conditions and found that sensors within some Bosch and Siemens vacuum cleaners tell the motor to increase energy use from 750W to 1,600W when the bag is full of dirt to maintain performance, which reduces the energy rating to an E or F.

This study is now evidence in the legal battle and is unavailable for review. BSH has said that all its vacuum cleaners are tested “in accordance with the requirements of the corresponding EU Energy Label and Ecodesign Directives and meet these in full”.

A Bosch spokesman said the company was unable to comment any further for legal reasons.