Subscription services like Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime have become household staples that personalize our entertainment and shopping experience, but they aren’t just limited to our homes, offices and phones anymore — they’re also making their way into new vehicles. Most recently, BMW announced that vehicle owners will have the option to access heated seats via a subscription — but the automaker has clarified that does not apply to its vehicles sold in the U.S., instead saying only certain “premium features” are included.
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A statement from the automaker said that the subscription-based services currently available in the U.S. are limited to BMW Drive Recorder — a dash-cam function that uses the vehicle’s existing driver-assist cameras — and a remote-start feature. Both are offered through BMW’s ConnectedDrive suite. If a shopper purchases a vehicle with heated seats, it will be included for the lifetime of the car. This diverges from the automaker’s U.K. offering, where shoppers can pay the equivalent of approximately $18 per month, $178 per year or $415 for unlimited access to heated seats.
The statement comes after a previous attempt by the automaker to set up a subscription model: In 2019, BMW asked vehicle owners to pay an $80 annual fee or a $300 fee for 20 years to access Apple CarPlay connectivity, but it pulled back on the decision following customer backlash.