I used to work in Ford UK's Customer Service Division (dealing with out-of-warranty issues, recalls, and goodwill assistance). Our Centre took 2,500 calls per day (from dealers & customers), and it was very easy to get a jaded and one-sided view of the product. However, I stood back from the situation, and realised that out of all the Fords on the road (this can be read for all makes), it was a very small percentage, that had developed a fault - a good number of times was down to owner ignorance/neglect.
Sure, there are rogue components - and in this day, when parts are shared more & more, it can affect whole product ranges, but all in all - progress has moved the game on from the "good old days" of points, grease nipples, manual chokes and 6,000 mile/6monthly service intervals.
I made a leap of faith and bought a Ford (a Ka Luxury), despite all the problems I knew about, the car served me well for 3.5 years & 88,500 miles - needing nothing more than tyres, rear silencer and a pair of rear shocks (one of which was paid by warranty). So much for all the 'problems'.
It is a very dangerous road to generalise/stereotype - usually self-defeating.