Never had any lens error issues with mine, or any of the other dozen or more powershots I have bought new.
However, I'va paid a buck or 2 for damaged ones at garage sales and tried to repair them. When I took them apart, I usually find some broken teeth on one of the gears that push the lens in and out. That comes from dropping the camera, or perhaps even from cracking of poor quality plastic. There were parts inside marked "Sony" too.
Those lens assemblies are churned out by the millions, and are almost a commodity, in fact, some of them are commodities and sold to canera manufacturers just like other electronic components. Almost a billion point and shoot cameras were produced in 2011, and they shared many common components.