You clearly arrived at the wrong conclusion. That is absolutely my fault. I was trying to be funny and communicate an idea at the same time.
You can absolutely screw up a DVR (or anything else) inside your house. I was trying to say that the comparison of leasing a car and a DVR is a pretty bad one. Unless I am missing something, there is no regular maintenance required for a DVR? Maybe dust them periodically? I also think that a car lives in a much more dangerous environment (i.e. you have to insure it) and is also has more risk of being abused (reckless driving, poor driving habits, lack of scheduled maintenance). In short, apples to oranges.
I have no evidence either way, but I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of DVR failures can be traced back to standard mechanical failures (hard drives, power supplies, etc.) that are of no fault of the user.
One could argue that components in the home are more at fault then the moving parts in the equipment.
Wiring in the house, temperature, cleanliness (dust, insects/pests) ect.
About regular maintenance, its not required but routinely working on the Receiver can actually extend its life time.
Dusting it/making sure the fans are clean, making sure it has enough breathing room. Rebooting it regularly , ect.
In alot of the cases of hardware failure its generally due to the owner in one way or another.