It is considered generic because it applies to all makes and models of vehicles, although specific repair steps may be different depending on your car model.
Possible Causes :
If the engine displays a miss and there wasn't a code, determine which cylinder is misfiring. If the exhaust manifold is visible, spay or pour a small amount of water on each cylinder exhaust port. Water will evaporate immediately on good cylinders and slowly on the missing cylinder. If this can't be accomplished pull the plugs and check the condition. Look for missing ground strap or a rusty ground where the fuel tank is grounded to the frame. Check for damage to the wiring harness connector. Pack the connector cavity with dielectric silicone compound (same stuff they use for light bulb sockets and spark plug wires) and reassemble.
Diagnostic trouble code B0171 is not difficult to diagnose and repair. Thus, it always pays to have a qualified technician to look after your vehicle should this error code arise.
Diagnosing this code requires the engine to be in good running shape, without unmetered air entering the engine. If other codes that relates to misfiring condition, lean running or air entering the engine is present, then you must first fix those error codes before B0171.
Fortunately, B0171 is a fairly common OBD code, meaning that it applies to all makes and models of vehicles made after 1996.