Monday, 12 November 2018

Vacuum-cleaner-gate: the European Commission allowed another "dieselgate"

On 08Nov2018, the General Court of the European Union held that:

Since the [European] Commission adopted a method for calculating the energy performance of vacuum cleaners based on an empty receptacle, the General Court holds that that method does not comply with the essential elements of the directive.

At issue was the European Commission's choice to measure the energy efficiency of vacuum cleaners in a manner inconsistent with European law.

Dyson argued that the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 6665/2013 of 03May2013 was inconsistent with Directive 2010/30/EU.  The Directive requires a method of testing a vacuum cleaner's performance in a manner reflecting normal conditions of use.  But the Regulation provides for a testing regime only with an empty dust receptacle.  As a consequence, Dyson argued that this would mislead consumers.

The General Court dismissed Dyson's arguement on 11Nov2015.  Dyson appealed to the Court of Justice, which on 11May2017, told the General Court to get it right.

How could the European Commission have created a Regulation that was so wilfully disobedient with the European Parliament's Directive?

The General Court doesn't say, but Dyson is less diplomatic.  Reported by Sky, Dyson said:

"The lab tests for the energy label do not reflect real use as EU law requires they must, and the EU label flagrantly discriminated against a specific technology - Dyson's patented cyclone. 
"This benefited traditional, predominantly German, manufacturers who lobbied senior commission officials."

What proof exists to support this, I don't know.  Even so, the stench of corruption is all too obvious.

Dyson went further:

"Some manufacturers have actively exploited the regulation by using low motor power when in the test state, but then using technology to increase motor power automatically when the machine fills with dust - thus appearing more efficient. 
"This defeat software allows them to circumvent the spirit of the regulation, which the European Court considers to be acceptable because it complies with the letter of the law."

This is quite believable.  The parallels with the same type of cheating on controls of diesel emissions from cars are striking.

It makes it very difficult to justify membership of the European Economic Area when one of the central regulators of the EEA is so prone to lobbying by business interests to ban competition.  This cannot be in the interests of consumers, or of the environment where the competition is more efficient and more ecologically sound than the complacent, but corrupt, incumbents.

So who would ever want to vote in favour of membership in such a cartel-creating bureaucracy?


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