Our larger recliner died; a bolt sheared cascading bits of metal and oil onto the carpet. Today we bought a replacement three seat motorised reclining sofa from those nice people at Furniture Village, Cribbs Causeway.
The leatherwork and materials for our new piece of furniture have a five year warranty. The electric motors and mechanisms have a two year warranty with an option to extend for a further three years - for 30 pounds.
The sales consultant (his term) was happy to explain the bath tub concept. If there are defects with the electrics, they'll manifest themselves in the first two years - covered by the warranty. After that you should be ok, which is why the 30 pound extension is so cheap.
OK, I buy that but what can we conclude about the expected lifetime of recliner automation? I don't think we should assume that in year 6 we hit the upward slope of the bath tub's other end. I think the failure probability is about the same (10 pounds worth per year) but the marketeers decided that higher insurance figures - 40 or 50 pounds for longer periods - are just off-putting. My guess is that the mean time to fail is nearer 8-10 years.
It's so irritating if the motors on your reclining sofa actually do fail, so we decided to pay the bath tub bottom price, for three years of "peace of mind".
My mother now has two animated companions (below) ... live action soon.