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 :
Check to make sure they are not burnt or corroded. If in doubt, get some Electrical Contact cleaner at any parts store if cleaning of the terminals is needed. 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. Replace the oxygen sensor that is downstream from the catalytic converter on the side of the engine that does not contain cylinder #1. Also, if a oxygen sensor code stating "heater circuit malfunction" the sensor has most probably failed.
Diagnostic trouble code C0271 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 C0271.
Fortunately, C0271 is a fairly common OBD code, meaning that it applies to all makes and models of vehicles made after 1996.