BMW sparked a lot of controversy last year when it rolled out a heated seats subscription for certain models. It took the shape of a monthly fee to activate the function even though the hardware was obviously already there. You’ll be glad to hear the German luxury brand won’t be doing that again, meaning you basically are not going to have to pay extra to use a certain feature that’s already inside your car.

Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW, told Autocar that while more on-demand features are planned for the online store, they won’t include heated seats. He admitted customers haven’t exactly been keen on the idea of paying a fee to warm their buttocks, knowing the seat heating elements were already built into their cars:

BMW X5 xDrive30d

“We thought that we would provide an extra service to the customer by offering the chance to activate that later, but the user acceptance isn’t that high.” BMW insists it didn’t charge customers twice: “People feel that they paid double – which was actually not true, but perception is reality, I always say. So that was the reason we stopped that.”

New Subscription-Based Features Are Still Planned

As to which new functions are planned, Pieter Nota didn’t go into details but he did say there will be more software-based services. He went on to specify that parking-related functions are already “very well accepted” and people see these add-ons in the same vein as downloading an app on their smartphones. The high-ranked official mentioned these subscriptions are gaining traction among customers, thus creating a new revenue stream for the automaker as it invests in a costly EV future.

Long story short, hardware-related features such as heated seats won’t be blocked behind a paywall but customers will be able to download software upgrades to use temporarily or permanently by paying a monthly or yearly subscription fee or a one-time fee, respectively.

Source: Autocar