Porsche was consulted for the chassis, ItalDesign for the aesthetics, Mercedes for the engine and transmission. It's a fine car, but like any machine, things can and will go wrong.
I'm a BMW Master Tech and recently started working on Porsches, and want to assure you that every make and model of vehicle ever made breaks. I have picky, spoiled BMW customers who want BMW to cover scratches in the paint (from their own buckles and zippers) under warranty, and justify it by saying "they should make tougher paint." A Porsche guy hit a curb going about 40 and thought Porsche should buy him another rim because "it bent too easy." Those guys equate "this car cost me X amount of money" to "it shouldn't break" and that just makes no sense.
The space shuttle broke, too, so is it a lemon? Is every space shuttle a hunk of crap? You know better than that- it's better engineered than anything any of us will ever own, and it still breaks. But like the fellows said on this forum (and here I'm paraphrasing) "antenna broke too easy when I hit a tree branch sticking out in the road" and "My rear spring broke!! I didn't think that happened in 2000!"
What about "2000" makes a spring less susceptible to failure? Nothing. If $3,000,000 hand-built GP cars can break, your $8,000 Daewoo surely can. I read a pile of reviews of this very car, and about 5% of the complaints were legitimate, in my opinion. It's hard to read a dozen people complain about things like "my brakes wore out!" or "I had an oil leak!" and not say that things like that must be expected. Not in every car, but in more than you'd think. As a technician, how can I own one of these supposed "lemons" and be happy, knowing what I know about cars? My Nissan pickup broke ten times more often than this Lanos. Literally.
Daewoo supplies governments around the world with devastatingly effective weapon systems. They work as well as the cars, and Daewoo's reputation among less-demanding military organizations is solid. Hard to think of the South African Army being less-picky than most U.S. car customers, but they are! I have more trouble out of my cat than I do with my car. I won't be buying another one, since they were sold to GM, and Suzuki took their remaining cars. I think they went bankrupt because they spent a huge amount of money developing these cars, then used dismal marketing to try to sell them, not because they didn't make good cars. Gotta be more aggressive if you want to survive in this market.