Scott, it seems from posts all over the internet as well as limited personal experience, older appliances were built to much higher standards than modern ones. Planned obsolescence and building to a price have taken their toll. In other cases companies just release buggy products to get market share and fix them when (if!) they can (esp electronics) and the early buyers can have nightmare experiences.
Reliability statistics are only useful if they bin responses into time frames that reflect a company's current position in the market, QA, service, etc. It is unlikely a 20 year old fridge has any bearing on a 2016 model but a 0-5 year old one likely would. I am aware of brands with top reputations that went down hill after changes in ownership, some that decided to license their brands making it complex to understand what they truly are, and others who build very fine products but no parts once the warranty period expires after the end-of-selling date so any failure can result in a "top quality expensive throw-away".
I suggest those aspects are worth a few words even if only in introductory remarks to any quality presentation.