BMW drops heated seats subscription amid backlash

Vlad, 09 September 2023

Car makers are generally desperate about two main things these days - hopping on the EV train, and trying to somehow make subscriptions a thing (with their eyes on all the money that companies in completely unrelated fields are making from that model).

BMW has been at the forefront of both, and everyone remembers it starting to charge customers for heated seats last year, right? Well, that's gone now. The 'feature' only survived one winter, and barely. BMW, to its own shock, found that people don't want to pay for that sort of stuff, and so it's taken the heated seats subscription off of its online stores.

BMW drops heated seats subscription amid backlash

This wasn't widely available across the world, but it was offered to customers in the UK, Germany, New Zealand, Korea, and South Africa at least, through BMW's digital stores for those countries. Prices varied by territory, but it was about $18, give or take, for a monthly subscription, around $180 for a full year, $300 for three years, and $415 for unlimited access.

Going forward, you'll still pay for heated seats, but only once when you buy the car - either for this feature on its own or as part of a package.

Before you celebrate too much, keep in mind that BMW is only shying away from this specific type of subscription - one where you pay for a hardware feature that was already physically present in the car even when you didn't use it.

BMW drops heated seats subscription amid backlash

The company will still gladly take your money for subscriptions to software things like parking assistance or other active safety features. BMW's board member for sales and marketing Pieter Nota told Autocar that they "thought that we would provide an extra service to the customer by offering the chance to activate that later, but the user acceptance isn’t that high. People feel that they paid double – which was actually not true, but perception is reality, I always say. So that was the reason we stopped that".



Reader comments

Considering the state of BMW software, it probably was incredibly easy to jailbreak it.

  • Anonymous

some hacker already hacked a car and unlocked all those subscription features.



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