BMW has caused a stir by placing some of its cars’ installed features — including heated seats — behind a paywall.
For vehicles which have seat-heating coils already installed, owners can, if they choose, pay a R250 monthly fee to activate the seat heating. The benefit would be a lower upfront price for the car and the ability to only pay for the feature when it is needed, like in winter.
The subscriptions are available through an online market called the BMW ConnectedDrive Store in some countries, including SA. It’s all done over the air, without the need to visit a dealer to install the software.
Some subscription features are payable monthly, others give you the option of paying an annual subscription, and some are one-off subscriptions for an unlimited period.
Other subscription features include steering-wheel heating (R160 a month), real-time traffic information (R900 a year), and a high-beam assistant (R160 a month).