I presume you mean the White-Rodgers Intelli-Vent control. We have quite a few of these in our townhouse association. A few have failed but with some evidence of line voltage surge problems. (Other electronics in the effected townhouses were damaged also.) After replacement gas controls were installed we added surge protectors to the outlets the water heaters were plugged in to. (Like the one pictured.)
No further problems have resulted. At a later time the same surge protection was added to all the water heaters with electronic controls.
In spite of this, admittedly anecdotal, susceptibility to power surges I like the White-Rodgers control. I like the fine control of water temperature, the diagnostic readout of the LEDs, and the elimination of a standing pilot.
Thanks in advance for keeping us posted of the outcome.