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Internet erupts at BMW over new $18 monthly fee for heated car seats

BMW owners have become outraged at the company's new subscription plan that have already been rolled out in the United Kingdom.

Published Jul 14, 2022 5:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Sun, Aug 7 2022 5:28 AM CDT

BMW owners have expressed extreme displeasure at the recently unveiled plans from BMW to charge monthly for features such as car seat warming and cruise control.

BMW have already rolled out its new subscription plan in several international markets, with the new service available in the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, and more. The BMW UK website states the following, "Front Seat heating gets things nice and cozy in no time. Activation after purchase is quick and easy." The front seat heating is priced at $18 a month, and that will be what BMW owners will need to pay to access this feature in their own vehicle.

Owners also have the option of paying $180 per year for the heated seats, or $300 a year for a three-year subscription, or $415 for "unlimited access". Heating isn't the only feature that BMW is slapping a monthly subscription on, as the car manufacturer in some markets is charging $42 a month for adaptive cruise control, and $12 a month for the feature that automatically switches off high beams. Furthermore, BMW will charge owners $265 to use Apple CarPlay.

Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kalleniu indicated to The Verge that the company will be heading in a similar direction.

"I think you need to offer customers both. Some customers don't look at the price, they just want the best, most desirable product. 'Whatever it costs, just let me pay now and that's it'. You have to have that option, but I think you can add functionality as you go along. You let people choose what they want through the app store...That is true digital, recurring revenue. It is not about just selling your 2.5 million vehicles or whatever a year."

"Your install base should grow and grow, so that one day you have tens of millions of vehicles. Then if you start monetizing some per month in that install base, the lever actually starts looking quite attractive. I think we are onto something here. It is too early to say how much this economic potential is, but it is there., said Kalleniu"

Internet erupts at BMW over new $18 monthly fee for heated car seats 25 |
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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