"As for the first year car analogy, I ended up with a first year dodge neon (no direct choice of my own) and let me tell you, many, many times was I left stranded, and many times requiring repairs that took longer than a day to complete."
Sorry to hear about that. However, the Neon in comparison to the 'class' is relatively inexpensive. For example, a Honda Civic is more money but would likely not have these problems and is promoted as such. It costs more but there are benefits with ownership, one of which is reliability.
With respect to the NeoAir, this is one very expensive pad in comparison to the class and is promoted as providing benefits over other, much cheaper offerings. When it works, the pad is great. However, these failures that we keep hearing about suggest poor QC by the company. Honda simply would not offer such a car to the market as the Neon and I would expect Cascade Designs to do the same with respect to their pads. Honda would do its testing beforehand.