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Products today are pretty reliable, but some brands have been more reliable than others. Every year we survey readers on repairs and on problems they encounter with household products. From their responses, we derive the percentage of a brand's products that have been repaired or had a serious problem. The graphs that follow give brand repair rates for 25 product categories. Over the 30-plus years we've surveyed brand reliability, our findings have been consistent, though they are not infallible predictors.
A brand's repair history includes data on many models, some of which may have been more or less reliable than others. And surveys of a brand's past models can't anticipate design or manufacturing changes in its new models. Still, you can improve your chances of getting a trouble-free product by getting a brand that has been reliable in the past.
Product categories include appliances such as washers and ranges, electronic products such as TV sets and computers, and lawn mowers and tractors. Note that repair histories for different products are not directly …