At one point 30 or 40 years ago, American cars were pretty much crap. In 1980 I worked selling Chevy's, and there were several times I had people buy a new Citation or Chevette and they did not even get home before the thing broke down. I owned a 1977 Malibu where the interior was literally falling apart by the time it was 4 years old.
American cars took a huge reputation hit at that time. At one point Chevy Nova's and Toyota Corolla's were the same exact car, built in the same plant, and they could not give the Nova away, yet people snapped up the Corolla even though the only difference was the name plate. That reputation still lingers, but is not really deserved
American cars are much better now, but check out Consumer Reports - some models are still not up to snuff, but others are quite good. Of course, the same can be said about most imports as well.