In select countries, BMW now charges a monthly fee to enable basic vehicle functions. Customers who want to use their heated seats, for example, must pay $18 per month. It’s one of the dirtiest microtransaction schemes we’ve ever heard of.
as seen by unitBMW has launched a variety of payment features in the UK, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea in recent months. Some of these subscription-only features are understandable, like a music service and a “noise generator” that makes your engine sound like a UFO.
But BMW also charges customers for heated seats ($18 a month), adaptive cruise control ($38 a month), and high beam assist ($12 a month). These features are already built into BMW vehicles and have been standard on high-end vehicles (and some economy cars) for more than twenty years.
Customers who want to waive the monthly fee can pay BMW several hundred dollars to unlock these basic features. A seat heater for life (for one vehicle) costs $406.
It was not Ars Technica This process could simplify things, explains BMW. Customers can pay for heated seats for life when they buy their car, or simply activate the feature at a later date. But that’s a stupid excuse: BMW isn’t doing you a favor here; is charging extra for something I already paid to install in the car..
Customers also need to be concerned about the long-term functionality of their vehicles. While BMW probably won’t go bankrupt in our lifetime (companies that are “too big to fail” get bailouts and all), there’s no guarantee that BMW will continue to support these paid features in 10 or 20 years. Will you need to hack your 2022 BMW to get your seat heater working 20 years from now?
Incidentally, this isn’t the first time BMW has flirted with BS microtransactions. The company previously introduced an annual subscription for Apple CarPlay, the infotainment software built into its vehicles. (He gave up the CarPlay subscription for reasons that should be obvious.)
BMW says it doesn’t plan to bring these features to the United States. But the prospect of turning automobiles into endless money-printing machines is too profitable to ignore. I would be surprised if BMW No bring this garbage to the United States, and I hope other automakers do the same.
Source: The Disc