I am of the age when, years and years ago, Japanese auto manufacturers first came out with compact cars and were laughed at (for the most part, to my recollection).
It was only in the mid-80's, when I had become convinced their cars were among the best, that I purchased a Honda Civic wagon. It was perfect for my art business, and I took more than one trip to Big Bend National Park in it - "camping out", as it were, in the back. (Everything folded flat except for the driver's seat.)
Wonderful car! 40mpg, no matter what kind of roads you were on or how fast you were going, it seemed, and finding a parking spot was a breeze. Maintenance? Laughable. As long as you kept up with the grease and oil changes and drove it on a regular basis, there wasn't any!
It has been many years since I last owned a Japanese-made vehicle ... for quite some time, after I first started driving a taxicab, foreign-made vehicles were not allowed to be put "on line" as taxicabs ... and so I really had not kept up with what Consumer Reports had to say - or anyone else, for that matter!
I do know that foreign-made vehicles are now - and have been for quite some time - allowed to be put online as taxicabs. Don't remember when that changed, exactly. By the time it did, I was into Chevies ... in particular, the Caprice (until the manufacturing plant was changed over to make more trucks, doncha know - we're in Texas!) and then the Lumina.
Did it change because "foreign-made" vehicles are not always entirely manufactured in their own country? Did it change because this country - the USA - now makes some Japanese cars? I don't know. I'm just throwing out questions. However, I distinctly remember a time when - if you purchased a Japanese-made car - you were assured (at least I was!) that it was 100% up to speck and there were (and would be) no problems. At least, none of an immediate nature, such as floor mats, gas and brake pedals. Brake pedals????? Heaven forbid such a thing!
Just thinking out loud here, but the news - what little I've heard and paid attention to recently - has me wondering.