Here’s some news that might shock you: drivers really don’t like paying extra for car features they expect as standard. is one of several automakers that have been nickel and diming customers, including with in certain models and territories. The company has dropped that controversial practice to focus on paid software services — it no longer plans to charge drivers extra to use hardware features that are already in their cars.
Pieter Nota, BMW’s board member for sales and marketing, told that the brand will train its attention on paid software features such as driving assistance and parking assistance. Nota suggested that’s a more accepted practice, akin to downloading a movie or accessing a paid feature in an app.
However, drivers didn’t take to the $18 per month heated seats subscription in the countries where BMW offered that, er, perk. “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,” Nota said. “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.”
It sounds like a classic case of supply and demand. Drivers didn’t want to pay for heated seats (or the likes of heated steering wheels), so BMW stopped doing that. Owners may be heartened to learn that the brand won’t make them pay extra for hardware functions going forward either, which is a step in the right direction. Best of all, BMW has clarified its position on heated seats just before the chillier fall weather starts in the northern hemisphere — the subscription didn’t even make it to a second winter before BMW canned it.