April 20, 2007 at 4:02 PM CDT - Updated July 26 at 10:50 AM
Consumer Reports has survey results on some 250,000,000 different appliances and has found it's often the pricy brands that tend to need the most repairs. In the kitchen, that includes refrigerators made by Sub-Zero and gas ranges from Viking.
Consumer Reports is also able to identify more-reliable brands.
For gas ranges, they include GE and Hotpoint
For electric ranges--GE, Hotpoint, and Whirlpool
For top-freezers and side-by-side refrigerators--GE, Kenmore, and Whirlpool
For bottom-freezers--Amana and Kenmore
If a product's design or manufacturing process changes, that could alter its performance, but Consumer Reports has found that buying a reliable brand tends to decrease the odds that you'll end up in the repair shop.
Consumer Reports also finds that in addition to specific brands, there are whole categories of products that are more prone to problems. They include laptop and desktop computers, riding mowers and lawn tractors, and side-by-side refrigerators with icemakers and dispensers.