Thanks for the feedback. We probably have reached its lifespan, and if it is due to thermal cycle, then I think perhaps, better performing parts could have been chosen for the application, especially considering that processors in computers, for example, alternate between very hot and room-temp repeatedly and last well beyond 12-16 months. They obviously want a large profit, so they're going to pick the parts that give them exactly what they want, even if it means replacing a few thousand units outside warranty-terms (like in our case). Picking a cheaper (and probably less reliable) part will help them balance the cost of the replacements they know they will have to make from having picked that cheaper part. Just spitballing.
I don't think that business practices are necessarily conspiracies. More that companies will look at the bottom line and make decisions based on what will benefit that line the most, including, say, offering a free product to an impoverished family with every purchase because that's going to sell more units.
This isn't a criticism of this company specifically, just saying that often times, I believe a company (or even a wealthy individual) really doesn't care about the philanthropy, rather they practice it because it's good marketing and it boosts their image in the eye of the public which leads to more sales and a fatter bottom line. They may have gotten into it (their business and philanthropy philosophies) for the passion, but they have to stay in it for the money if they want to maintain their personal status quo...that's just where we mostly are on this planet right now.