BMW starts selling heated seat subscriptions for $18 a month

(ORDO NEWS) — BMW is currently selling heated seat subscriptions in a number of countries, the latest example of the company’s introduction of microtransactions for high-end vehicle features.

A monthly subscription to BMW’s heated front seats costs roughly $18, with the option to subscribe for a year ($180), three years ($300), or pay “unlimited” access for $415.

It’s unclear exactly when BMW started offering the feature as a subscription or in which countries, but a number of outlets this week reported a launch in South Korea.

From 2020, BMW has been gradually expanding subscription options, with heated seat replacements now available in BMW Digital Stores in countries including the UK, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa. However, this does not seem to be an option in the US yet.

There are other features that BMW offers for subscriptions:

  • Turning on the heated steering wheel from $12 per month
  • The ability to record video footage from your car’s cameras for $235 for “unlimited” use
  • “IconicSounds Sport Package”, which allows you to play engine sounds in your car for a one-time fee of $117

In the latter case, BMW notes that “the hardware for this feature was already installed in your car during production at no additional cost.” How generous.

Of course, BMW isn’t the only company offering this sort of offer. For example, the autopilot feature in Tesla electric vehicles is also offered on a subscription basis.

Of course, the driver can pay more for permanent access. But when the car already has some features that are forbidden to use, this is not the same as receiving “add-ons” when ordering or upgrading the car after purchase.

At present, motorists can only hope that this practice will not continue in this industry.


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