Subscription or tuner? Unlock expensive extras at a messy price!

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Seat heating retrofitting tuning experiences

For years, people have been annoyed by the long list of extras when buying a new car. But it really gets better new system, which is currently gaining ground, also not. Manufacturers like Tesla build in various extras from the factory, but these are only activated when the customers do subscribe to and therefor pay. Depending on the extra and provider, you can pay monthly, annually or with a one-time payment, which means something like a lifelong subscription. The customer thus has the advantage of being able to test the extra in advance and thus resell the car more attractively in the near future. This is a good choice for manufacturers additional business, which is not entirely harmless.

Subscription car extras: expensive functions unlocked by tuners

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The BMW brand is currently primarily feeling displeasure. The Munich-based company is currently receiving a lot of criticism on social media, as they are charging a monthly fee of €17 for their factory-fitted but not activated seat heating. In many models and equipment packages, the comfort extras are already included and remain permanently installed there, but without a subscription without a function. But diverse hackers and tuners are now increasingly ensuring that the extra equipment such as seat heating can now be used without paying a lot for it. What software specialists from the USA have been doing with various Tesla functions for a long time now seems to be spilling over to us.

Apple CarPlay at a bargain price

The fresh subscription model of the car manufacturer is therefore at risk. Because for a low price, tuners not only bring more performance into the vehicle by means of chip tuning, but also more and more various extra functions. According to a report by Wired activate British hackers about the iPhone connection Apple CarPlay as well as the voice recognition for a price of just £40 (approx. €47). That's nothing at the prices Tesla is charging. And cars like VW, BMW and Audi can now be found more and more often in the workshops of the comfort tuners and unfortunately the vehicles often leave the workshops illegally if, for example, the TV function can be used at once while driving.

Subscription car extras: making cheap upgrades more difficult.

Because of the hacks, it's no wonder automakers keep upgrading. The control units, which were easy to manipulate, are increasingly being protected by manufacturer codes. And due to the rapidly increasing networking of vehicles, manufacturers can easily override the cheap upgrade over-the-air (OTA) from a distance. But here, too, we're pretty sure that software can be programmed in such a way that the function is available in the vehicle, but the car continues to think it is disabled. The eternal cat and mouse game goes into the next round.

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Of course, that wasn't the end of it!

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