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

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 …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    > Dyson claims the Bosch and Siemens cleaners use a sensor to detect when the vacuum is drawing air from a clean surface and when it is pulling in dirt. The sensor then adjusts the power intake of the motor, increasing the power the vacuum uses when cleaning a dirty floor.

    Erm hang on. Isn't this a good feature? If the vac doesn't need to work hard, isn't it reasonable to expect it to reduce its power consumption?

    It's one thing to accuse a company of deliberately rigging their products to fudge a test but it seems a bit ridiculous to berate a company for producing a product that reduces its consumption when not under load.

    It seems to me that the test needs to be updated.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      skelband It seems to me that the test needs to be updated.

      Yeah, that was my first thought too. Something doesn't add up in this version of Dyson's complaint.

      Having vacuum cleaners auto-detect when they're drawing dust, and ramp up the power until no further dust is detected is a good thing, Shirley?

      If the EU "test conditions" simply run the EUT for n seconds/minutes in a clean room environment, and make no attempt to simulate dust, and merely measure the power consumed - then

      a) Dyson have a valid complaint, and

      b) the test design sucks (ahahaha)

      Has there been a misconception somewhere - by Dyson, the author of this article, or me?

      1. Mark 85

        How often does one run a vacuum on a "clean" floor? I only vacuum when it's needs it. The logic of the "reasoning" behind this whole thing just seems strange... Unless there's a light that says "floor is clean... stop cleaning".

        OTOH, it might be good feature while cleaning the inside of a car or on a shop vac...

        1. jonathanb Silver badge

          My Samsung has such a light. It is red when sucking dirt and green when sucking clean air.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          How often does one run a vacuum on a "clean" floor?

          1. You do not have the vacuum sucking dirt all the time. You move it around, lift the hose off the floor, etc without shutting down. So doing this provides a significant power efficiency (and if done right, motor resource) saving.

          2. Dyson should sue the Eu commission for formulating a vacuum cleaner energy efficiency test which does not have dirt involved, not the manufacturer.

          3. As far as vacuuming a clean floor - if you have a borderline asthmatics or people with dust mite or household dust allergies in the house, the answer is every day. Granted - in my case it is a couple of Roombas (one per floor) doing it, not me.

          In any case, the idea is not new. Roomba has been altering its behavior depending on the dirt sensor readings for the last 10 years.

          1. Naselus

            Re: How often does one run a vacuum on a "clean" floor?

            In fairness, I never vacuum and simply roll around in my own filth all day. So really, I'm saving even more power...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You obviously don't have young kids. Under their seat there will be a lot of spilt food. Further away there will only be the food that's bounced or been thrown further. Depending on the pattern on the floor this isn't always easy to see.

          You still have to hoover/vacuum the whole floor.

          1. Kevin Fairhurst


            get a dog :)

            1. An ominous cow herd

              Re: alternatively

              Tried it, so instead of food I've got to vacuum dog hair and clean the drool...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You obviously don't have young kids. Under their seat there will be a lot of spilt food.

            The only valid test for a vacuum cleaner if you have young kids is to see if the kids stick to the hose when you lift it up so they're only held by suction. If not, you need a more powerful one to cope with their debris :)

      2. kdh0009

        Bad tests and worse marketing

        I think the problem is not that they have identified a way to cut the power when it's not necessary - more the fact that they seem to be claiming it's a 750W vacuum cleaner when in fact it's a 1600W cleaner.

        If the box said, "1600W - with ActivePowerSaveMode(tm)" that would be fine, but then it also wouldn't get a top-level energy efficiency grade.

        1. Bronek Kozicki

          Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

          The problem is that tests, as established by EU standards body, and which have been heavily influenced by German manufacturers, require that during the test the vacuum cleaner is not sucking any dirt. Which allows manufacturers to claim that their vacuum cleaners only use 750W energy when running in test conditions (this could be 10W as well), but says absolutely nothing about real world use, is misleading to consumer and harms competition (i.e. sales of Dyson vacuum cleaners). There is clear similarity to test condition of diesel cars.

          Dyson had a problem with this for a long time, and IMO justifiably so.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

            I'm not sure how sad this makes me but I actually went and read the Siemens literature. It actually explains the EU test on their website and says that the energy class is NOT a measure of cleaning efficiency.

            The top of the range VSQ8PET is given (on the German website) as having an energy rating of C but a maximum power of 1000W, which suggests efficient internals. It will clean effectively with less power than a cheap machine, but the non-cleaning bit of the energy consumption conceals this.

            The Q8.0 blurb clearly explains that as the bag fills, the power consumption will go up. There are pictures to explain. It's only misleading if you don't actually read it.

            It seems to me that Siemens, despite a slight marketing spin, is presenting a lot of detailed information which will enable anybody who can be bothered to understand what the efficiency class means and what cleaner will do the most cleaning. I'm not sure how Dyson has a case.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

          But 1600w vacs are now illegal.

          They use too much power, same as kettles, they are having their power usage cut as well.

          1. Wilseus

            Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

            "They use too much power, same as kettles, they are having their power usage cut as well."

            PLEASE tell me that's a joke.

            1. Peter Galbavy

              Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

              @wilseus: Nope, no joke.

              1. AndyS

                Re: Kettles

                No joke, just wrong.

                It's harder to get 3kW kettles than it used to be, but that's because of market homogonisation (230V AC, 10 amp limit = 2.3 kW). The fact we have 250V AC and 13 amps in this country is an anomaly within the EU.

                As pointed out, limiting kettle power would not really achieve much (although may encourage people to put less water in to start with). Limiting lightbulb power, phasing out filament bulbs and limiting vacuum power (they were on a race to the top) all make perfect sense for reducing energy consumption.

                1. GrumpenKraut

                  Re: Kettles

                  Background on new limits for vacuum cleaners: there was (is?) a race purely for more Watts. A stupidly constructed (wrt. air flow!) vac with high power does not beat one intelligently built using less power.

                  Now everybody bought the shitty high Watt ones (just one number to look at, easy decision), so the regulation.

                  Given the duration of use the savings don't seem super important to me, though.

                  If you really need enough suction to lift your kids: buy an industrial vac.

                2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Kettles

                  It's harder to get 3kW kettles than it used to be, but that's because of market homogonisation (230V AC, 10 amp limit = 2.3 kW). The fact we have 250V AC and 13 amps in this country is an anomaly within the EU.

                  Ah, well, here in the US we're pretty much limited to 1.8 kW kettles. The perils of being an early adopter.

                  (When I first looked at your post, I was thinking that surely you meant kVA, since that's nominal voltage AC. But since a kettle is just a heating device I suppose its power factor must be very close to 1. I dunno - I'm certainly not an electrical engineer, or even an electrician. I just wire stuff to code.)

                3. phil 27

                  Re: Kettles

                  230vac and 16amp limit is the norm on the continent, smidge over 3.6kW. CEE 7/5, 7/6 & 7/7 are 16amp 7/17 can be 16 or 10, ze german's shuko standard aka CEE 7/3 should be 16 as it accepts europlugs and 7/17 plugs so is requried to cover that capability and 7/4 can be 10 or 16, but originally was 10 which may be where your 10amp figure is coming from.

                  TL,DR; mostly continental europe has 3.6kW.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bad tests and worse marketing


            Tell me you are kidding about kettles ?

            What fucking retard came up with that idea ?

            Obviously they have a degree in flower arranging as they haven't a clue about physics and thermodynamics.

            It takes the same energy irrespective to raise 1kg of water one degree Celsius and the longer it takes the more heat you will loose to external surroundings.

            1. Wilseus

              Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

              Thinking about the kettle thing some more, it does make a certain amount of sense: a lower powered kettle that takes ages to boil might encourage people to not overfill the thing. That's the only logic I can see in it anyway.

            2. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

              Here is top of google searches


            3. This post has been deleted by its author

            4. Mephistro

              Re: Bad tests and worse marketing (@ readinthereg)

              "It takes the same energy irrespective to raise 1kg of water one degree Celsius and the longer it takes the more heat you will loose to external surroundings."

              True, but for obvious reasons we shouldn't forget container's insulation and even container's geometry. I admit these two factors won't account for a huge increase in efficiency but, say, a 20% increase in efficiency is not to be taken lightly.

              And I wholeheartedly agree with many previous posts that the EU vac tests seem to have been designed either by someone with an arts degree or by industry shills.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Bad tests and worse marketing (@ readinthereg)


                Where did this unsubstantiated 20% come from for kettles ?

                You can still make an insulated high wattage kettle and geometry has bugger all to do with it. Unless of course you wish to hold the kettle upside down however I would caution against that as you are likely to get wet shoes.

                You may want to read Prof Will Stewart (from the Institution of Engineering and Technology) comments on the beeb:

                "Kettles are different: a kettle is an element in water. There is not much room for improvement - a lower powered element will just take longer to boil."



                Disclaimer, I spent three years grappling with thermodynamics doing a chemistry degree.

                1. Mephistro

                  Re: Bad tests and worse marketing (@ readinthereg)

                  "...and geometry has bugger all to do with it."

                  You may be aware of the fact that different shapes have a different volume to surface ratio. The bigger the surface that contains a given volume, the bigger the heat loss is.

                  You can still make an insulated high wattage kettle...

                  Yes, that was more or less the point of my comment, that improving insulation lowers the amount of energy needed to heat a given amount of water in the same time. How do I know this? Well, I once helped some friends (then studying at the uni) to design a program for simulating and designing ovens, including factors like airflow, convection, insulation and shape. Actually one of them was my gf's younger brother, so I had to do it for free, though they sometimes gave me beer. :)

                  The 20% figure I took from my backside, but after digesting the data obtained from one set of these simulations, that showed how insulation improved efficiency in ovens. The savings were far bigger than that, but that's to be expected as ovens work at higher temperatures than kettles.

                  Funny the things one learns while working in IT.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Bad tests and worse marketing (@ readinthereg)

                    > The 20% figure I took from my backside

                    Upvote for honesty :)

                    I've done plenty of calorimetry in my time and am well acquainted of the causal differences between the theoretical and actual results ;)

                    Did you account for phase changes as well in your simulation ? You will start to lose energy from the system once your casserole starts to boil or vaporised fat molecules from your chicken escape from the oven.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Bad tests and worse marketing (@ readinthereg)


                      It's a strange old world thermodynamics, see The Mpemba effect. Entropy can be a bugger.

            5. I Like Heckling Silver badge

              Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

              Physics aside for a moment... I can see a real world scenario side to this and have experienced it a lot... and found the solution.

              Problem - Boiling a kettle with more water in it than you need is a waste of energy - Now you might think 'just put less in it then' but it's not always that easy. If you just want a single cup of water, which is approx 275-300ml for the average cup of tea. Kettles tend not to work with such small amounts in them (they should have protection for low levels to prevent explosions... as my sister once found out by turning on an empty kettle many, many years ago).

              The low level indicator on nearly all of my old kettles required at least 600-900ml before it was at the minimum mark. So for a single cup, you are using 3x the amount of energy required.

              The other downside to boiling more water than you need... is reboiling the same water for the next cup and the one after that and so forth... ruins the taste of your tea.

              The other problem is one I was always doing... put the kettle on, walk off to do something else (chat with a visitor for example) and forget about it... Have to boil the kettle again... either reboiling water or using fresh... both of which are a waste of energy and resources.

              The solution has been very simple... I switched to a one cup kettle. Fill it up, it boils 280-300ml of water and fills a single cup. It's perfect, consumes less energy and doesn't waste water or cause reboiling.

              Is it a perfect solution... No, the design of the one cup kettles are not perfect. But since I got one, I've never wasted any water or electricity on cups of tea since. In fact my folks have converted to one too. Not only is it easy to use for my disabled dad (who could no longer lift/fill a kettle), but they got the top of the range one with adjustable cup sizes... small for my dad, medium for my mum and because I like the large mug... Guess which setting I choose.

              It's not without it's downside... making multiple cups of tea or a pot is kind of a no go now. But it takes 24 seconds from hitting the button to having a mug of hot drink... compared to 2-3 mins to boil my old kettle.

              The coffee machines also work in a similar way, such as the tassimo and only boil enough water to fill a cup... Although I do believe some of the older models used to preheat the water to reduce prep times. So if the newer ones don't do that... saves energy.

              So I can fully understand if they wanted to regulate kettles in a similar fashion... but if they seriously think they can reduce the power of kettles and outlaw >2kw ones in favour of <1kw ones... they're bonkers.

        3. Jagged

          Re: Bad tests and worse marketing

          "he fact that they seem to be claiming it's a 750W vacuum cleaner when in fact it's a 1600W cleaner."

          - Exactly. Especially as there is now that silly EU law that bans new vacuum cleaners above a certain wattage.

      3. goldcd


        All really depends on the test methodology though. If it's representative of cleaning your house, then it's a good feature. If in the real world the sensor is always triggered and vacuum runs at full power always, then it's a test dodge.

        However as I can see a real world scenario where you push your vacuum over something that isn't dusty..

    2. expat-mike

      Adjusting power for different loads is reasonable on its own whether its a car or vacuum cleaner. The problem comes when you exceed compliance limits under real world conditions it shows that the EU tests are unrealistic and the energy limits (vacuums) or pollution (cars) are being grossly exceeded in normal usage. One can argue that the EU is wrong in setting limits (my view for vacuums or light bulbs) but what is the point of having limits if they can be subverted so easily. As in all matters EU, its social engineering without any real engineering expertise or science to back their claims !

    3. James Micallef Silver badge

      "Erm hang on. Isn't this a good feature? If the vac doesn't need to work hard, isn't it reasonable to expect it to reduce its power consumption?"

      Just exactly what I was going to say. The sensor isn't detecting a 'testing' scenario, it's detecting an 'I don't really need to be operating at full power right now' scenario.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Erm hang on. Isn't this a good feature? If the vac doesn't need to work hard, isn't it reasonable to expect it to reduce its power consumption?"

        Not if the low power mode is stopping it picking up the dirt to trigger the sensor to increase power

        My car's cruise control increases power on hills to keep the speed up, IE it detects the load increase, just keeping your throttle position the same will not have the same effect and the vehicle would slow down

    4. damworker

      We had this feature on a Panasonic (IIRC) years ago.

      Once the bag was slightly used it ran on full power all the time.

      Not saying the Bosch would do that but food for thought. It does look a good way to game the test.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I fail to see the logic

    Dyson said it is seeking an injunction and recall in Germany

    So there are laws somewhere that demand that vacuum cleaners MUST run at the low power levels seen in completely wild-arse official tests? Which are ground for injunctions? (*)

    (*) Low swearword phrase. This phrase may normally include more swearwords than apparent in official testing.

    1. PhilipN Silver badge

      Re: I fail to see the logic

      I'll consider an up vote if you repeat your post in real world conditions using swear words

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Bill B

      Re: I fail to see the logic

      A lot of posters are missing the background to this

      "From 1 September 2014, a new EU energy label for vacuum cleaners means manufacturers are not permitted to make or import vacs with a motor that exceeds 1,600 watts. "

      What Dyson is saying is that these products exceed the emissions ratings and should therefore not be sold. There's still a bit of wiggle room for lawyers though,since the manufacturers may argue that on average their motors operate below 1600 watts.

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: I fail to see the logic

        > "From 1 September 2014, a new EU energy label for vacuum cleaners means manufacturers are not permitted to make or import vacs with a motor that exceeds 1,600 watts. "

        Hasn't it been established that low-power vacuum cleaner user more energy, because they take disproportionately longer to do the same amount of cleaning? And in other news, bureaucrats can't tell the difference between energy and power.

        1. GrumpenKraut
          Paris Hilton

          Re: I fail to see the logic

          > ...low-power vacuum cleaner user more energy, ... ?

          No, it critically depends on how the air ducts are laid out. 1600W is good for one mighty suck (cf. icon)!

          Few people do have a reason to go above 1600 (and should buy an industrial vac as I said above).

  3. Aqua Marina

    Well this sucks.

    See title!

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Well this sucks.

      See the article's title.....

  4. Anonymous Coward

    In other news.

    Manufacturers say their products are better than they really are ...

  5. a_yank_lurker

    Sounds like gaming a stupidly designed test. Maybe the regulators should design better testing protocols that would be harder to game.

    1. Deltics

      There is no "gaming". Just a bad test. Not bad because it can be "gamed" (see previous point) but because it operates under ATYPICAL conditions when purporting to measure TYPICAL power consumption.

      1. Aitor 1

        Bad test

        The bad test was obviously made to german specs.

        Same for Euro X tests.. made for german/french manufacturers,. tests while moving are not difficult today.. yet they resist. Same with NOx.. they refuse to test for them, and I have designed systems that can detect and measure NOx in exhaust for less than 200€.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually its a GOOD test.

    1/. Its easy to pass if you know how to get around it

    2/. Anyone who doesn't is at a massive disadvantage

    3/. Its European wide.

    4/. In all likelihood the test and the regulation was DESIGNED by Bosch to increase European market share of their products, and they support the Tory party in the UK.

    So what's not to like?

    Honestly, this is why we need to be in the EU, because without the EU this sort of stuff would be much more expensive and difficult to do.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Actually its a GOOD test.

      [*] citation needed. While the Bosch top execs have showed up at some events around the Tory party conference, a cursory web search finds no traces of support or sponsorship.

      Alternatively, use sarcasm tags for the humor deprived among us.

  7. John Tserkezis

    "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."

    That's just stupid. If the test method doesn't at all replicate any real-world conditions, then what's the point? It's like having a vacuum that works really well in the lab, but utterly pointless in the average home. Now that's misleading.

  8. JimboSmith Silver badge

    So this is Dyson the company who tried to sell me a vacuum cleaner twice and failed. I asked over the phone if you had to have the rotating brush head on the cleaners or was there a standard non rotating wide head included? I was told that it's very efficient and effective but if I really wanted one without rotating brush it was an optional extra I could order. Having already tried a friend's Dyson and noting that I didn't like the rotating brush head (and neither did she) I decided against buying one. I bought a Vax bagless cyclone one instead and have had no problems.

    They failed in store on the second occasion because when I asked what a "digital motor" was - which prominently features in their advertising and her sales patter - the demonstrator on the shop floor was unable to do so. Then I saw this.

    I got as cross about the carbon emissions claim as he did.

    1. Nate Amsden

      I bought a Sebo

      What seems like about 9 years ago. I had a hoover and it's "self cleaning" filter got clogged, took it to a shop to get fixed, while there asked what the repair guy recommended and he couldn't speak highly enough of Sebo. I had never heard of them myself. It took at least a month if not more to get the hoover repaired. I used it for another year or so until it broke down(or filter got clogged again and I destroyed it trying to replace the filter myself, it wasn't designed to be user replaceable and I am not a handyman, so I expected it may very well not go back together if I took it apart to replace the filter).

      Forked over the $700 or $800 for the Sebo online. Seems like a quality product. I've since noticed them used in a few hotels. Obviously never have had any issues with it. No idea how much power it draws but it works great for me. I'm somewhat expecting it to last another 9-10 years(if not more).

      I bought a bunch of vacuum bags with the cleaner itself, not realizing how infrequently I'd have to replace the bags, I replace them a little more than once a year(have never seen the light come on asking me to replace it, the bags just get pretty heavy and I got tons of em..) so at this rate I have enough bags to last at least another 10 years.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: I bought a Sebo

        A friend has a Sebo and what his wife says about it is unprintable.

        The problem is that they're designed as professional appliances. For use in hotels. With lifts......

        Great if you live in a bungalow or if you happen to be a professional weightlifter, otherwise they're something of a problem, especially if being hauled out of your chair by your wife to carry "that stupid bloody hoover that you bought" upstairs irks in any way.

      2. Indolent Wretch

        Re: I bought a Sebo

        I had a similar experience, 2 dead expensive vacuums, another on its last legs taken to a repair guy, he couldn't recommend "Miele" highly enough. So I bought an expensive one of them, 6 months later it was a dead Miele.

        Now I've wised up and I go to my local electrical retailer and buy the cheapest looking piece of crap available. Normally you can get some no-brand or on-sale branded bottom of the range for £40 or less. It works, it lasts a year or two, you chuck it when it breaks and you treat it like dirt whilst you own it. Never looked back.

        1. Alan Edwards

          Re: I bought a Sebo

          > Now I've wised up and I go to my local electrical retailer and buy the cheapest looking piece

          > of crap available.

          I fell into that trap. My Vax died (spectacularly, sparks out of the back and everything) so I bought a cheap thing from Argos - lasted about 3 months, and didn't suck much up when it did work.

          I got another Vax, still going strong about 3 years later.

          1. DropBear

            Re: I bought a Sebo

            Well, I bought a... hold on, I never did. I actually use the vacuum my grandma used - I kid you not. It's a Russian "Vityaz" from the eighties trucking on like nobody's business, and since it's textile "bag"-based (actually just a large 'diaphragm' separating the dust container from the motor) I never had to buy anything for it. Not long ago the bearings finally got a bit wonky - nothing a bearing puller and a bit of (elbow) grease couldn't fix. This thing is all-metal, it could probably survive a direct hit from orbit, let alone a few tear-downs. At some point the hose ended up ripping open at the inlet - at which point I gleefully discovered that the spiral wire-spine of the hose is simply jam-screwed into the plastic end-piece; unscrew -> saw off torn end -> screw back in -> bob's your uncle, good as new. As long as it keeps purring like a kitten I don't see why I would get another one...

      3. Jim99

        Re: I bought a Sebo

        Why is it good that you don't need to change the bag? Doesn't that mean the thing is not sucking anything up?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Digital Motor

      Sadly, I now apply the same filter to anything coming out of Dyson as I do to anything coming out of BT. Regardless of the ASA, companies can and do put whatever they want in ads regardless of the size of the reality gap and the low signal to noise ratio.

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: Digital Motor

        > Sadly, I now apply the same filter to anything coming out of Dyson...

        Anyone wanting a Dyson can get one very cheaply at our local tip - sorry, I mean "Community Recycling Centre" - they always have several in stock. Maybe it's a Dyson dealership, they never seem to have other brands.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Digital Motor

        Apple are the masters of this kind of sh1te

        1. wolfie

          Re: Digital Motor

          They must have the Apple book of Marketing

          From what I can tell (so could be wrong), a Dyson Digital Motor is no more than A Reluctance Motor (

          Though I will say Digital has a better ring to it than Reluctance

    3. damworker

      We've had two Dysons, the second for about a year, the first for about 10. Prior to that we were going through vacuums every 18 months or so.

      I don't think they are much different in quality to other (good) makes.

      But the warranty and service is superb. New hoses and bins sent by post, next day, only technical questions asked. Expensive but worth it unless you like vacuum cleaner shopping.

    4. Lee D Silver badge

      Marketing is marketing. No company escapes it, take all their claims with a pinch of salt.

      Of all the vacuums I've owned over the years, only the Dyson actually works how I would expect it to. It picks up anything, and just keeps picking up and the rare occasions I have to empty it is a two-click process.

      The only problems I have with them:

      a) the price - don't buy first-hand, their prices are just insane.

      b) some parts of the design - e.g. the silly way to clip and unclip the hoses to use them directly. All very fancy and click-clunk when you know it, a nightmare to get used to it.

      The only other vacuum I own is one that was literally free. Not just given away but brand-new from the shop. My nectar vouchers added up to £10, Argos had a special deal, some cheap thing was £10, I was moving house at the time and we didn't have a vacuum, it worked fine - if a little weakly - and overheats really easily (cuts off because the vent is in a stupid place) and is just a plain bagless vacuum. The value for money from that was MUCH LESS than the value for money for a second-hand Dyson.

      Though, I live with an Italian who doesn't understand the need for vacuums and "can't we just put hardwood floor everywhere" - the foreigners hate carpet and I can't say I disagree with them, it being the status symbol of the rich many decades ago.

      If you're going to have carpet, get a Dyson. Or put your money into solid flooring instead.

      I don't care about the "digital motor" or the "thousands of patents" (i.e. we patented stupid clips that do nothing better than normal clips and are just different) or anything else. Marketing never sold me on a Dyson (if you think the hoover is bad, look at the washing machine with two opposite-rotating drums!). The Dyson just wins when you have a carpet, pets, and only hoover up when the place needs to be cleaned for visitors. At that point, a normal vacuum will have you scraping the carpets with the brushes, etc. and a Dyson will just suck 99% of it up with a quick going-over.

      But, for god's sake, don't buy them brand-new. They are a piss-take in terms of the material costs versus initial purchase price.

  9. expat-mike

    Having been involved in compliance testing of computer products for radio emissions they don't usually test them under normal usage conditions and that can be a deal breaker for passing the test or failing the test. Pretty much every appliance, machine etc will operate differently and adversely as far as meeting the tests under normal usage rather than under compliance testing. Only mission critical tests like space exploration seems to have a no limit on costs to be compliant but even that has failed before.

  10. Slx

    I'll buy whichever one of them cleans floors. Vacuum cleaning isn't a major power consumption issue anyway in the big scheme of things. It's on for maybe 10-15 mins a day at the very most. I use mine at most twice a week. You'd really want to have an extremely fluffy dog, a bit of a cleanliness fixation or a love of vacuuming to do much more.

    The single biggest issue are heating and cooling of buildings! Spend some money on insulation and improving heating systems, not on over expensive vacuum cleaners!!

    The wattage limits seem crazy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The wattage limits seem crazy.

      Why? Dyson is right, you don't need to use even 1,400W for a vacuum cleaner, but for years lazy vacuum makers have produced obscenely noisy, inefficient room warmers that masquerade as vacuum cleaners, because it's easier to market a cleaner as "more powerful" than "more effective". For years the German vacuum makers (like the German car makers) have lobbied successfully against tighter controls, simply for their own business benefit.

      And Bosch are marketing a 1,400W vacuum cleaner at the very same time that their own marketing department claim their circa 25W cordless vacuum cleans as well as a 2,400W mains model. Now, either Bosch shouldn't be making heavy, energy wasting mains vacuum cleaners, or they are lying about their cordless model. As the owner of a Bosch cordless upright, it cleans really well, it's not noisy, and its lightweight - so I'm thinking that their over-powered models are unwarranted, and Dyson is correct that the power limits are nowhere near low enough.

      1. Vic

        you don't need to use even 1,400W for a vacuum cleaner

        I used to work for a vacuum cleaner manufacturer.

        Back then, there was a machine on the market that was advertised as being able to pick up a bowling ball. "And how often do you need to do that?" was the first thing that cam einto my miond, but didn't seem to occur to many...

        You don't need much power at all to clean a room - air is not a particularly dense medium, and accelerating it to the appropriate speed isn't hard. But you do need to ensure that the airflow isn't blocked; the vacuum itself doesn't perform any cleaning, it is the airflow into that vacuum that carries the dirt.

        So it's pretty much all about the design of the pickup head; power is largely irrelevant.


  11. Ru'

    I'm not certain from my read of this; are Dyson saying that the cleaners submitted for test were deliberately set in low power mode regardless of dust levels (i.e. special test samples), or are they saying that the standard test does not include any dirt and therefore they were correctly running in a lower power mode?

    Case 1 seems utterly wrong, case 2 seems fair enough to me.

    Obviously I am not a vacuum cleaner expert though, but my job does suck if that counts...

  12. Marcus Fil

    Deutsche Industrie

    Vorsprung durch Betrug?

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    ...or is it just a case of sour grapes?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In any industry, including good ol' IT

    Poor consideration of targets leads to unexpected and generally poor outcomes

    includes payment by line of code for fixes

    testing only clean air suction

    <insert examples here>


    Having said that the test scenarios need to be testable on a level playing field too - but this would make the testing and certification more expensive.

    Would the general public want a graph of best to worst power consumption for the vacuum over different loads from clean to really dirty floors? This would be great but could not be represented by a simple energy rating lowest common denominator.

    Overall these emissions/consumption ratings are oversimplified for real-world use - but adding complexity usually adds to consumer confusion and lawsuits...

    How can I test if my floor "a" rated clean or "f" rated not vacuumed in years so I can match to the most effective cleaner....

  15. Stephen 24

    "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

    You mean "Brit vacuum-cleaner designer Dyson."

    MADE in Malaysia. OEM'd by V.S. Industry Berhad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

      MADE in Malaysia. OEM'd by V.S. Industry Berhad.

      Well you can thank the British government for that, with their cr@p headed approach to energy policy, business rates, payroll taxation etc etc.

      Dyson did try for years to make the cleaners in this country, and it is simply too expensive, but if you want to run a manufacturing business you're not welcome in Britain.

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        Re: "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

        Ledswinger - I think it's the consumer's fault that we can't afford to make stuff in Britain. We buy the cheapest stuff and don't care where it's made. We only care about UK jobs when it's our job.

      2. Indolent Wretch

        Re: "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

        Total bollocks.

        Dyson moved to Malaysia in 2002, their last profits figures while manufacturing in the UK were £18m.

        So that's a UK manufacturer employing UK workers generating UK tax revenue and making products in the UK at a profit. Whilst at the same time generating orders for a raft of UK supply and service industries.

        So if you want to thank anyone I suggest you thank Dyson and the shareholders for deciding that bigger profits on the backs of low paid foreign workers were more important and that dumping 800 UK staff could be done whilst still claiming to be "British".

        Your blamethrower is well off the mark.

        1. StampedChipmunk

          Re: "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

          Er... not quite. Dyson wanted to expand the factory in Malmesbury (which employed lots of local people bolting the things together) into the derelict school site opposite, in order to turn their main building entirely over to R&D and administration but keep manufacturing local.

          The local council turned them down because they wanted a Sainsbury's supermarket there instead.

          After a couple of years of to-ing and fro-ing, the council made up their mind, said "No factory, thanks" and Dyson made the call to move manufacturing overseas, pointing out that the benefits of having the factory on their doorstep are lost whether the factory is five miles away or five thousand. Add in the cost saving moving it over seas and, well, sod it.

          Thing is they were happy to invest in the local economy, and in Britain, but the local councilors scuppered the plan, and cost quite a few jobs in the process.

          Oh, and Sainsbury's weren't interested in building a supermarket in Malmesbury anyway, so the land was sold for housing. Eventually Malmesbury got a decent supermarket in the form of a Waitrose that was then built in one of the stupidest and unsympathetic locations possible ruining a decent view of some of the town's 1,000 year old walls and water meadows.

          Source - I was working for Lucent at the time at their location on the outskirts of Malmesbury, now also shut and turned into housing. Presumably with really awesome internet connections and a monstrous UPS...

        2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

          May I borrow the "blamethrower"?

      3. AJ MacLeod

        Re: "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

        "Dyson did try for years to make the cleaners in this country, and it is simply too expensive"

        Numatic (manufacturer of the ubiquitous "Henry") seem to have managed for quite some time now. Their products are genuinely well engineered, high quality, long lasting and easily repaired... quite unlike the over-hyped badly made and badly "designed" rubbish that Dyson import.

        1. CP/M-80

          Re: "Brit vacuum-cleaner maker Dyson"

          +1 for mentioning Numatic. I have a Henry in the house, and a 110v Charles for site use. They are excellent.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    to do a VW

    methinks this needs to be incorporated into the vocab of those quiet marketing desks where you throw shit at your competitors. Trouble is, everybody cheats the tests, so some shit backfires. That said, in the general stench and merriment, who cares? It's the first pile that counts.

  17. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Energy, not power....

    ....should be the focus of the test. The power is only relevant if one knows how long it takes. It doesn't sound hard to define a standard test for this. I'd start with a standard area of black carpet and a standard mass of white powder and the test would be how much energy used to pick up 90% of the powder. Easily measured (Avo, scales (Avery??)).

    The detail needs to be worked out - e.g. standard sprinkle method (get that woman from Shake-n-Vac), or the test could be re-jigged to hoover for a standard time then weigh the powder, measure the energy and give it a rating based on pick up per watt.

    We need a brainstorm - I'll get some doughnuts.........

    1. Known Hero

      Re: Energy, not power....

      would it not be better to measure airflow rate compared to power used ?

      using a inline flow meter you could also run tests on how well it picks up a range of items from flour to marbles.

      1. DropBear

        Re: Energy, not power....

        "would it not be better to measure airflow rate compared to power used ?"

        I kid you not - they already do...

    2. Dagg Silver badge

      Re: Energy, not power....

      Use pet hair especially dog hair in carpet as a standard test. First time I got a dyson home with the rotating brush we were gob smacked with the amount of dog hair that the other (sanyo) vacuum had missed.

  18. SpectrumSteve

    If Dyson are so good....

    Why don't you see every commercial cleaning company using them. Ooooooo, this vacuum cleaner must be the best because you can see all of dirt swirling around inside! Now, where did I leave my snake oil?

    1. JimC

      Re: If Dyson are so good....

      Mmmm, but do you honestly think the executives making purchasing decisions at commercial cleaning companies give a flying [redacted] about how well the vacuum cleaners actually work? Probably somewhat the reverse since the less it picks up the less time is wasted empting the things.

      Don't get me wrong, I loathe the Dyson stuff with the dubious marketing and what I find to be very questionable ergonomics, but I cannot see that what the commercial companies use is any guide. Unless of course you believe that commercial cleaning contractors have much interest in the quality of the service they deliver, in which case I'll just pat you on the head and walk away...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If Dyson are so good....

        "Mmmm, but do you honestly think the executives making purchasing decisions at commercial cleaning companies give a flying [redacted] about how well the vacuum cleaners actually work?"

        Well, I've visited Numatics and I can tell you they do. Because they say so.

        Numatics told the story of how they were commissioned to build some ride on cleaners for a large cleaning company. When the first one was delivered, all the directors had to try it out and got really quite excited.

        It isn't rocket science; almost all the cost is labour, do the job quicker without complaints = more profit. (The company being cleaned is paying for the electricity, hence the lack of interest in power consumption. But take an example: One employee on £7 an hour = £14000 a year. If cleaner A can be pushed around 10% faster than cleaner B, and assuming half the time is actually vacuuming - A could cost up to £700 more than B every year and still work out cheaper.)

      2. Vic

        Re: If Dyson are so good....

        do you honestly think the executives making purchasing decisions at commercial cleaning companies give a flying [redacted] about how well the vacuum cleaners actually work?

        The ones I used to work with certainly did. They had to maintain a certain level of cleanliness to retain the contract, so the more effective the cleaner, the higher the profit.

        They also liked the fact that our cleaners could be thrown down the stairs without breaking vey often...


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I thought it was common knowledge that the dirtier you are the harder they suck?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed, who doesn't like cheese?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I would go for a better password though being anonymouse is fun.

  20. Bob 5

    More Dyson spheroids...

    I also filter Dyson's claims by my own experience, having been suckered by his "100% suction 100% of the time" ads. into buying one of his machines and found it was nothing of the sort as it contained two inadequately sized dust filters that clogged up in no time. How he gets away with his ads and packaging claims beats me - things like "digital motor" and "no carbon brushes means zero carbon emissions" on the DC31 packaging for instance (

    He might have a gripe about the unrealistic EU testing regime, but I don't see his claim against Bosch's energy saving feature has any merit at all. Varying the machine's power to suit the needs of the job seems an eminently sensible feature to me. Sour grapes, methinks...

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: More Dyson spheroids...

      Ours is falling apart, I have to wash the foam filter every month and the HEPA filter clogs very easily and is supposed to last the life of the machine.

      Probably get a Henry next.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: More Dyson spheroids...

        Hmm. My Dyson get an occasional filter wash (maybe 6 monthly to a year., then filter gets put back - hence the lifetime of the machine). It's not falling apart either. I did have another Dyson that my parents broke, bad looking after rather than a fault with the machine - they NEVER emptied it, and the motor filter was badly inserted after a wash which I suspect led to the motor failing. It was just within its 5 year warantee, but TBH, I couldn't be bothered as I stole parents replacement Dyson which my mother found too heavy.

        My Henry does't clean anywhere near as well as either of the Dysons.

        So you take your choice.

      2. wolfie

        Re: More Dyson spheroids...

        It is the life time of the cleaner, As you said it's already falling apart

        And if you didn't clean out the Hepa filter it would of died along time ago

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: More Dyson spheroids...

          It is not that old either I reckon under 10 years, was the MiLs but the pipe was too short so whe bought another,

          My wife pressed the button to extend the pipe!

          The Hepa filter cover will not stay fitted as a plastic clip has self destructed, the filter itself was changed a few years ago. The foam airfilter seems to need washing rather othen!

          Yearly I strip down and clean the cyclone

  21. anothercynic Silver badge

    Oh dear...

    ... More moaning from Le Dyson.

    That said, I have a dinky Samsung vacuum with variable power control (a pretty little slider) so I can vacuum from low-power all the way to 'suck the paint off the wall' mode. Thankfully I bought that one before the ban came in, it cost me a quarter of what a Dyson would cost me and has lasted longer than most of the Dysons I know... :-)

  22. Nigel 11

    How do you all make your vacuum cleaners break down?

    I'm amazed at the number of people whose vacuum cleaners break down.

    Mine was made in nineteen-eighty-something by AEG. Still going strong. It's survived being dropped down stairs on at least one occasion.

    Who says it's hard to make an electric motor that will run for 3000 hours?

  23. MJI Silver badge

    I want to buy a Bosch now

    I WANT a vacuum cleaner which sucks, the power limiting bollocks mean that the newer ones take longer as they do not suck as well. now if I can still get a super sucker great.



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I want to buy a Bosch now

      "I WANT a vacuum cleaner which sucks, the power limiting bollocks mean that the newer ones take longer as they do not suck as well."

      No, it doesn't.

      Makers have got away with using very inefficient (but very cheap) AC motors; the power in is nothing like the power out and the heat disappears into the air stream. Notice how hot they get.

      It seems that it is more expensive to build a vacuum cleaner with an efficient air pump and low power motor than one with an inefficient pump and a high power motor.

      It is exactly like cheap outboards with their high power engines but small props being comprehensively outperformed by relatively low power Diesels with big props - but the 20HP Diesel and its 20 inch prop costs more than the 40HP outboard.

      Domestic appliance makers tend to be like old style US car makers - they don't want to spend money on R&D. But forcing them to with regulations will eventually lead to better, cheaper products.

  24. Terry Kiely


    This SUCKS!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real world test?

    Put a cordless Dyson up against a G-TECH AirRam a watch Dyson Digital Technology (FFS) get it's ass kicked.

    What real world?

    Ask the owner of 2 massive kids soft play centre which one he uses.

    Hint it doesn't use "Digital Technology"

  26. Uffish


    This seems to have been a massively successful advertising campaign for Dyson. Probably the lawyers fees were cheaper than an ad agency as well.

  27. hatti

    Well this sucks

    I hate hoovering anyway, I usually do the dusting

  28. Ed 13

    As Colin Chapman observed...

    "The race begins as soon as the rules are published"

    This applies as much to testing as F1 racing!

  29. Grubby


    Sounds more like the test needs to be improved as a feature that recognizes if there's something to vacuum and adjusts accordingly seems like a really useful feature.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it

    How does the dirt sensor work? In my simple estimation, which could be misguided, on must increase the power as the dirt flow into the machine abates, in order to suck up the most stubborn dirt left behind on the (nearly) clean surface.

    Maybe the test environment is too dirty?

    In any case, the tester should strive to replicate a set of real-world conditions.

  31. Mutton Jeff

    Lousy testing

    I thought that all door to door vacumm cleaner salesmen would drop a bag'o crap on the floor then suck it up to show how good their product is.

    1. Vic

      Re: Lousy testing

      I thought that all door to door vacumm cleaner salesmen would drop a bag'o crap on the floor then suck it up to show how good their product is.

      You don't need to. There's always plenty of crap to be found in soft furnishings, no matter how fastidious the owner...


  32. wolfie

    Dyson is not Energy efficient

    I for one wouldn't care is if a vacuum was 2000watts if it performed the job in half the time, A 1000w with the same efficiency will take take double the time to vacuum the amount of rubbish, and will miss a hell of a lot more than a 2000watt will.

    So this restriction on the wattage is stupid, lets reduce the energy used by the vacuum and leave more dirt behind, the input watts is meaning less, same as the NOx from a diesel engine is meaningless if it prevents the engine from running at peak performance resulting in better MPG and reducing the amount of fuel being burned. NOx has nothing to do with the burning of Diesel it's just the Nitrogen in the air reacting with the oxygen in the air.

    Back on the vaccums, Instead of Dyson being a tell tale how about get there vacuums more efficient!

    A Dyson DC65 has a 1200w motor and produces 245airwatts or

    A Kirby Sentria (2006) (I own) has a mere 712watt motor though the vacuum produces 377.64airwatts

    - Though Dyson would argue it's bagged vacuum so would loose suction but it would need to loose a half of a DC65 first before the dyson wins out. Also has Dyson invented unblockable filters.

    - Also it's not scared of water of cement dust (Dyson motors can die with a little cement dust), vacuuming a soaked carpet is strange but I've done it

    - Every change of the bag all the hepa filters are changed, so its back to 100% suction again, Dyson ??

    Watching the carpet being lifter as you vacuum is actually reassuring that even the underlay is getting a nice good clean

  33. Alan Denman

    gaming the system

    standard capitalim really.

    Everything has pitfalls, especially when regulators have to stay business friendly.

  34. Stevie


    One unfit for purpose vacuum cleaner is slightly less power hungry than another?


    Says this unhappy Dyson D25 owner. What a piece of yuppy-pleasing crap that machine is.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My ex-wife sucks harder than a Dyson does & she never did! Every Dyson that has been bought in to this household has been gradually getting worse & worse than the ones they replaced. I would rather use a dustpan & brush in future than buy another overpriced piece of plastic that does not fit together properly & leaves more than it picks up with the name Dyson on it. Next vacuum cleaner that is purchased will be a G-Tec Air.

    Never been able to get through to Dyson service line due to 2 hour long queue times (says something about how often they fail!) & £30 for a hose that will split every few months is a complete piss take! Not even going to start on the bands that decide to burn out within a few minutes of being replaced.

    The only vacuum cleaners that last any length of time are Henry's or similar but I hate bagged cleaners!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deutschland Vorsprung durch Täuschung (Germany Leading through deception).

  37. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Aw, poor Dyson

    Maybe Dyson is upset because those centrifuges and layers of filters result in an incredibly power hungry vacuum cleaner that doesn't move much air, regardless of how fancy the motor is. On the positive side, a Dyson consumes less power when those filters that never clog or need changing become clogged or need changing.

  38. Cardinal

    According to a Telegraph article of August 30th this year, the maximum EU permissible wattage for vacuum cleaners is set to drop from 1600W currently to 900W in 2017. Could this perhaps account for why Bosch and Siemens claim the 750W figure as standard? An attempt at future proofing maybe.

  39. nilfs2

    This is what happens when you stuff computarized crap in a vehicle

    I will stick with carburettors and no other electronic aside from the ignition system and the lights

  40. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Optional title is optional

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