BMW Sparks Debate By Charging a Monthly Subscription For Heated Seats

BMW has sparked debate after offering an online subscription to turn on heated front seats in its cars in the UK for £15 ($18.30) a month, while a heated steering wheel costs £10 ($12.20) a month. Subscriptions have been available for features on BMW cars for some time in the UK, but the heated seat offering only began recently. The company says owners can enable all hardware features for a one-time payment if they prefer. The features are available via BMW’s ConnectedDrive online store and are activated remotely, with no need to visit a dealer. BMW offers owners a short-term trial before committing to a purchase, but unlimited use of a feature can also be purchased. For example, for £200 ($244), those with chilly hands can enjoy a warm steering wheel for the life of the vehicle. What sent outrage through the BMW owners community was the fact that owners already have all the necessary components, but BMW has simply placed a software block on their functionality that owners have to pay to remove. Some owners say that’s like buying a mug and then having to rent the handle, while others argue say that when you buy a car, you own everything in it.