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Kärcher sues Tennant over ec-H20 claims19th of September 2011
German cleaning equipment manufacturer Kärcher has today filed lawsuits against three of competitor Tennant's national companies - over advertising claims Tennant has made concerning scrubber dryers using its ec-H20 technology.
The legal action is being taken in Germany, Belgium and the UK. The basis of the lawsuits is a number of advertising claims made by Tennant, particularly the assertion that ordinary tap water can in scrubber dryers be converted into ‘active water' that then has the same effect as a powerful cleaning agent.
This process is said to create its own ‘powerful cleaning agent' with the result that an all-purpose cleaning agent no longer needs to be used. Kärcher says these claims were investigated scientifically by an independent research institute and refuted in a detailed report by experts.
ECJ spoke exclusively to Markus Asch, deputy chief executive officer of Kärcher, about the action. "When we look closely at cleaning, it is not a real science, it's a process," he said. "From a customer's point of view, they need market players who are professional, who are serving the market in a straightforward way."
Asked why Kärcher is taking this action, Asch replied: "Our customers have to rely on manufacturers who tell them the truth, and if we want to achieve high levels of quality in our industry, everyone has to be professional and transparent.
"What Kärcher wants is to have it clarified in a court of law that what the market is being told is entirely true. If the court is following our direction then Tennant has to withdraw their claims about the system with immediate effect.
"With this action we are seeking confirmation of what is technically sound and correct," he concluded. "This is what the market needs. And we as a leading player consider it also our duty to stand up for the integrity of our industry."
ECJ invited Tennant to comment on the lawsuit. Kathryn Lovik, its director of corporate communications said: "Tennant Company rejects the assertions by Kärcher against Tennant's proprietary electrically converted ec-H2O water cleaning technology. The technology has been independently proven to be an effective chemical-free cleaning solution for customers worldwide in most general purpose cleaning applications.
Tennant Company's confidence in electrically converted water technology is substantiated by its own third-party, independent test results and analyses. However, the most compelling testimony comes from the voices of Tennant customers in a wide variety of industries, such as retail, health care and education, who are using ec-H2O to clean their facilities."
Lovik continued: "These sophisticated customers, including some of the largest facility cleaning companies in the world, have independently tested and validated ec-H20 technology in their own environments and cleaning applications."