BMW Tries To Clarify Subscription Controversy, Raises Even More Questions

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BMW just launched a new subscription plan - for features among which heated seats - that outraged almost everyone. After lots of backlashes, the automaker felt the need to step in and address a few things.
In a recent Statement of Clarification, BMW of North America briefly explained how their recent ConnectedDrive Upgrades (aka Functions on Demand) will work in the US market.

“It is important to note that BMW ConnectedDrive Upgrade is intended primarily as a digital aftersales solution and will not affect options that were ordered at the time of the vehicle purchase.”

Turns out your behind will not experience a sudden drop of temperature while driving your brand new BMW, given you’ve already opted for heated seats when you bought it. So it’s not like paying for putting workable hardware in your car, only for them to have you pay extra dollars in the form of a subscription for it to actually function. Or is it?

If heated seats can be activated via software updates, that also means they can be shut down in the same way, depending on your subscription choice (month / year / 3 years / lifetime). It also means that your car already has the necessary hardware from the get-go but lacks functionality until you pay for it.

Now whether you choose to exchange cash upfront (when you configure your car) or you opt for a subscription later, that’s up to you.

There could be some silver lining with this model, in that maybe you don’t need heated seats all year, so you can only pay for them for a few months when you actually use them.

“If a vehicle is initially ordered with heated seats, that option will remain fully operational for the life of the vehicle.”

Ultimately, your brand new BMW already has the necessary hardware for such features. The subscription only comes into play if you change your mind later and decide you’d want to try (or keep) something you initially did not.
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