A Pitch to the Rich

VW's growth engine has stalled in the U.S., partly because of poor quality. Will its pricey new cars fuel a revival?

Remember Fahrvergnugen, the German tongue twister that Volkswagen adopted for ad campaigns in the early 1990s to express the thrill of driving its cheap, dependable, even lovable cars? For VW owner Ann Jones of Corona, Calif., the experience has been more like far from groovin'. Jones was lured to the Jetta by its stylish looks, elegant interior and solid road handling, which made it seem worth the $18,900 price. But a few months after bringing her new sedan home in 2000, she returned it to the dealer because of an oil leak.

Then a door lock broke. Then a spring popped...

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