Dyson vacuum cleaners fail to score in reliability tests

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Dyson vacuum cleaners, the bright, bagless appliances that became a style icon, have come bottom of a league table for reliability in a report published today.

The brand, produced in a range of bold colours, fell below average in a survey of owners conducted by the consumer magazine Which?

More than 5,100 people with different brands of upright cleaner and almost 2,600 with cylinder models were questioned about their reliability.

Overall, 79 per cent of upright vacuum cleaners and 91 per cent of cylinder models up to six years old had not needed repair. But among owners of Dyson cleaners, only 75 per cent with upright models and 81 per cent with cylinder versions said their machines had not needed attention in the first six years.

The best performing upright makes were Sebo, Hitachi, Oreck, Panasonic and Electrolux, while Morphy Richards, Bosch, Numatic and Miele came top among owners of cylinder cleaners.

Despite the poor results, owners of Dyson upright cleaners - brainchild of the British inventor James Dyson - were among the most likely to recommend them to a friend.

On upright cleaners, Which? said: "Yet again, Dyson is the only brand with below average reliability. So think twice before buying one." It said of Dyson: "It may design the most effective cleaners around but how well it puts them together is open to question."

Another brand that performed badly in the survey was Hoover, which came bottom among owners of washer-dryers and tumble-dryers. A survey of 949 people with washer-dryers found 71 per cent of machines did not need repair in the first six years. For tumble-dryer owners, the figure was 89 per cent. But just 56 per cent of those in the poll with a Hoover washer-dryer and 79 per cent with a Hoover tumble-dryer said their machines had lasted up to six years without repair.

Dyson said in a statement,: "We find Which?'s report surprising ... Comet, one of our largest customers, agreed and confirmed that customer returns for Dyson vacuum cleaners are very low compared to most manufacturers. Research also shows that Dyson is the brand that people most frequently recommend to family and friends."

Hoover said: "Hoover is very disappointed by the comments from the survey that, by its nature, will favour those newer brands in the market or those with a smaller installed base."