I suspect that the Daewoo-built Aveo is a piece of junk that does a disservice to GM's overall reliability statistics. I am not confident that Daewoo has stepped up their game to match Hyundai, American companies, and Japanese companies.
consumer reports is high on them as well. doesn't mean much really, 'cause a consumer's view can be more perception than reality.
the GM dexcool fiasco certainly hurt them(and the intake gasket failures). i've heard in years past, Ford's transmissions on FWD vehicles had issues. also electrical problems seem to be fewer on imports.
what about manual transmissions? don't imports offer more of them(by % anyway)? it's fairly reasonable to assume enthusiasts drive mostly MT right?
could be many variables at work on this...conspiracy.
Where's the money going? With American-built import marques, ultimately, the money's going overseas, therefore, it's import. I would wager that GM's Aveo is sending a fair amount of money over to the Koreans as well. Plus, I can't help but think that even though a lot of import makes assemble here, they're still using imported subassemblies made of imported materials from imported suppliers not to mention the incentives that localities often give to attract the factories in the first place...
As to why imports are more highly regarded...a lot of this reputation was built in the 80's when much of it was true. Anymore, I find all cars to be on a very low plane of quality (plastic? bleagh...), but more or less equal. Still, the imports work very hard to retain this notion of superior quality.
FWIW, we have had only one Japanese car in my lifetime, an '04 Toyota Sienna. It was the second most problematic vehicle we had behind my Mom's New Beetle. We traded that Sienna at 20k miles and never looked back. OTOH, the most reliable car we ever owned was a VW Passat - 5 years, near 60k miles, and not one single solitary problem. Weighed 3800lbs with the AWD and made a lifetime average in excess of 22mpg.
Then there are cars that are a chop job of American and import stuff? We had some '96 Dodge Caravans carrying Mitsu 3-litre V6's with a Mitsu trans...the only stuff that ever went wrong on them was stuff related to Mitsu's powertrain, although they were el-strippo models with nothing much else that could go wrong anyway.
'67 Mustang - out of commission after an accident
'00 Echo - DD
'11 Kia Rio - Wife's DD
'09 Harley Nightster - 48mpg and 1/4 miles in the 12's
It's no secret that Consumer Reports has consistently "reported" that Asian automaker's vehicles score higher than the Detroit 3. They use two sources of data - the tests they conduct on vehicles they purchased at a retail dealer and based on the experience of their readers/subscibers. Over the years, the ratings have been accurate. I have owned mostly Detroit 3 vehicles in the past 35 years and have driven 11 different vehicles. I can state from personal experience that the two Hondas I've owned have been the best cars. I have also owned four Chevrolets, two Dodges, one Buick, one Renault and one Toyota. Only once did I have a major engine problem and that was with the Buick which I repaired myself after finding out what the heck was wrong with it (plastic intake manifold cracked due to the EGR vent pipe - what a bad design that was!!!). That was the only engine I experienced hydrolock with. Boy, that was fun - NOT!!!!
Ultimately, no single person can be the judge that Asian cars are superior to those from Detroit. You know the old saying - if your neighbor is unemployed it's a recession, if you are - it's a depression. Similar logic applies here. Just because you bought a lemon doesn't mean everyone else has.
I have become somewhat skeptical about Consumer Reports ratings lately. The Detroit 3 have closed the quality gap with the Asians. Unfortunately, they have done this with their SUV's, crossovers and trucks - which I'm not buying. My next car will be a 2010 Prius or some other true hybrid. The new Honda Insight was a big disappointment in my opinion in that it is only a mild hybrid. Maybe Honda can atone for that screw up with the CR-Z and make it capable of driving at low speed on electrical power alone.
: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another