Dyson fury: Firm loses fight for £150m compensation over flawed EU energy labelling rules

Dyson, the UK firm behind bagless vacuum cleaners, has reacted angrily after it lost a bid for compensation for alleged losses after a European court victory for the company over EU energy labelling rules.

The system was scrapped in 2018 after Dyson won a ruling that the labelling requirements imposed by the European Commission on vacuum cleaners discriminated against its technology, misled customers about the efficiency of some vacuum cleaners, and unfairly benefited its German rivals.

Its case at the EU’s General Court was based on evidence that energy tests carried out on empty machines from 2014 were misleading, as they did not reflect real-life use.

Image: The company was founded by Sir James Dyson

Dyson alleged that cleaners with an A-rated efficiency label could soon drop to a G grade once it was used.

The company had sought €176m (£150m) in compensation.


But Dyson was told on Wednesday that its claim had been dismissed.

Judges ruled: “By using the standardised empty receptacle testing method, the Commission did not manifestly and gravely disregard the limits on its discretion or commit a sufficiently serious breach of the principles of equal treatment and sound administration.”

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A Dyson spokesperson confirmed the company would appeal in a strongly-worded statement.

It read: “In 2017 the European Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court, set out in clear terms that the Commission cannot validly test a vacuum cleaner when empty of dust and that, in unlawfully stipulating an empty test, the Commission had broken its own laws and ignored Dyson’s evidence.

“Now, ruling on Dyson’s damages claim, the lower-tier General Court, despite accepting the European Court of Justice’s ruling, seems to want to rewrite history. It is trying to argue that the dust loaded testing of vacuum cleaners is inaccurate.

“This is simply untrue. The Court has accepted the Commission’s tortuous and weaselly excuses to avoid accepting liability for its wrongdoing.”

They added: “Bad regulation fails consumers, stifles innovation, hits jobs and slows growth.

“Dyson technology was significantly disadvantaged by the Energy Label leading to lost sales and significant engineering, research and development costs, not to mention five years of legal challenge to see it overturned.”