"Can anyone post verifiable statistics on the "high failure rate of life rafts" and causes for same?"
How on earth could you verify the failures, other than by interviewing the folks who drowned following them? One might rashly consider that if a life raft failed, any survivors were adrift in the water
until they died and that rescue
did not find them.
In a rare few cases (Rafiki?) the boat will be found with an undeployed life raft, but by and large if a boat goes down and the life raft does not deploy, or deploys and then fails, nothing will be found in any case, will it?
At least when a parachute fails, someone often stumbles across the splotch o the ground, complete with 'chute.
So, how do you propose counting failed life rafts? Other than the account from life raft testing, on land, which in some cases apparently has produced high numbers of witnessed and verified failures. Rashly assuming those are not atypical samples.