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Toyota owners have to pay $8/mo to keep using their key fob for remote start

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ZLoth:
From Ars Technica:

Toyota owners have to pay $8/mo to keep using their key fob for remote start
Feature requires subscription even though it doesn’t use connected services.
--- Quote ---Automakers keep trying to get a piece of that sweet, sweet subscription income. Now, it’s Toyota’s turn.

Nearly every car company offers some sort of subscription package, and Toyota has one called Remote Connect. The service offers the usual fare, letting owners use an app to remotely lock their doors, for example, or if they own a plug-in vehicle, to precondition the interior. But as some complimentary subscriptions for Remote Connect come to an end, Toyota owners are getting an unexpected surprise—they can no longer use their key fob to remote-start their vehicles.
--- End quote ---
FULL ARTICLE HERE

Why am I getting an "Oh, what a fleecing" vibe from this? This is the same company that, for several years, refused to introduce Carplay and Android Auto integration into their autos, thus putting them several years behind Korean carmakers Kia and Hyundai. Should I purchase a new car (which probably won't occur for another eight years), Android Auto is an absolute requirement.

JayhawkCO:
Yeah, that's some bullshit.  It's one thing if you think you're subscribing to the special app.  If you've never opened the app and have been using your fob and now it's disabled?  I'd raise hell.

kalvado:
Honestly speaking, I cannot imagine a reason to get Toyota after throttle control fiasco and basically refusal to really deal with the issue.
but to each their own.

kalvado:
And reading into this... I suspect this is a pretty good sign that nothing really changed at Toyota.
Most likely, they just routed engine start through the connection module; engineers doing that didn't give a second thought to paid model. They implemented a remote start module and allowed it to fire up via fob, online access module, and possibly in some other way.
Then marketing people started to partition services, and it turned out remote start was too closely bundled with what became a premium feature.
Pretty much exact same problem - a free feature implemented so that is got behind a paywall - was a contributing factor in Boeing 737MAX fiasco.

Moral of the story: project management, especially software part of it, didn't improve much since unintended acceleration issue; software review still non-existent.

triplemultiplex:
I hate this shit where you "buy" something but don't actually own it.  The future wasn't supposed to suck.

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