Hot Seat: BMW owners push back against heated seat subscription, pirate software to access features

Toronto, Ontario – Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as the old saying goes. This seems exceptionally true for BMW owners who’ve found a way to hack their vehicles despite the announcement last week that BMW would be instating a subscription service within their cars in order to access heated seats, as well as other digital, functional features. The service costs $18 per month or can be accessed as a one-time $415 fee.

The subscription has thus far not been instated in North American markets. However, vehicle owners within South Korea, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK now have the option (albeit illegal) to access restricted vehicles features.

The ability and desire to do so represents significant pushback from BMW owners. The service’s implementation comes as the boundaries between physical and digital products have become increasingly blurred.

The problem with the BMW model, however, seems to be that owners would not be for paying for extra features. Drivers would be paying simply to access elements of their cars already installed, just unavailable for access.

According to a report from Wired, the ability to bypass BMW’s services would still cost money, but that money would not be going to BMW itself. This desire, again, represents notable protest from consumers, who would rather hack their cars in a heist of features, than pay a manufacturer to access elements of their own vehicles.

So let’s ask you, the reader:

Do BMW owners have a right to their own vehicle services? Or is this piracy/software hacking unwarranted?


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One Response

  1. BMW has lost credibility with people by doing such a hairbrained stunt as restricting features that can be found in much cheaper vehicles. They would have been better if tinkering with the vehicle MSRP and avoid this controversy.

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