‘We Found Subscription Menus in Our BMW Test Car. Is That Bad?’

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Car & Driver reports on what they found in the menus of a 2023 BMW X1:
BMW TeleService and Remote Software Upgrade showed a message that read Activated, while BMW Drive Recorder had options to subscribe for one month, one year, three years, or “Unlimited….” We reached out to BMW to ask about the menus we found and to learn more about its plan for future subscriptions. The company replied that it doesn’t post a comprehensive list of prices online because of variability in what each car can receive. “Upgrade availability depends on factors such as model year, equipment level, and software version, so this keeps things more digestible for consumers,” explained one BMW representative.

Our X1 for example, has an optional $25-per-year charge for traffic camera alerts, but that option isn’t available to cars without BMW Live Cockpit. Instead of listing all the available options online, owners can see which subscriptions are available for their car either in the menus of the vehicle itself or from a companion app.

BMW USA may not want to confuse its customers by listing all its options in one place, but BMW Australia has no such reservations. In the land down under, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are available in a month-to-month format, as is BMW’s parking assistant technology. In contrast, BMW USA released a statement in July saying that if a U.S.-market vehicle is ordered with heated seats from the factory, that option will remain functional throughout the life of the vehicle.

Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader sinij for submitting the story.

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