Toyota Charging Subscription Fee For Using Remote Start On Newer Vehicle

It’s happening, folks – the automakers are starting to ask monthly or yearly subscription fees for some of its features that can be enabled or disabled over the air through software manipulation. There are several examples, including BMW’s temporary Apple CarPlay subscription and Audi’s navigation function that comes at a monthly fee, and now Toyota is taking things to the next level. 

The Japanese automotive giant is apparently introducing a subscription fee for its Remote Connect function which allows you to remotely start the engine of your car from the key fob. The tech doesn’t need a connection to Toyota’s servers, though The Drive reports it won’t work without a subscription. We’ve reached out to Toyota for clarification, and we will update this story accordingly when (and if) we hear back.

According to the online publication, the automaker will charge you $8 per month or $80 per year for the full functionality of the Remote Connect feature. It is available for 2018 or older Toyota cars, though we don’t know whether this applies to all current models of the brand. 

If you buy a new Toyota today, you’ll be offered the option to trial the company’s Connected Services. The length of the trial depends on the exact model, varying from three to ten years depending mostly on the audio package included in the vehicle. The full Connected Services information for each model can be found here.

As The Drive reports, a Reddit user first shared the information about Toyota potentially charging a subscription fee for the remote engine start functionality after finding weird wording in Toyota’s Remote Connect marketing materials. A broader forum discussion came to the conclusion that many 2018 or newer Toyotas are still within their subscription trial periods, which makes it impossible for their owners to know whether the engine remote start function requires a subscription.

Source: The Drive

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