BMW Responds to Heated Seats Subscription Controversy

As premium vehicle purchasers, BMW customers in the USA demand a high level of equipment in their vehicles. Options like heated seats are ordered on over 90% of the BMWs sold in the USA. If a vehicle is initially ordered with heated seats, that option will remain fully operational for the life of the vehicle. BMW of North America does not expect factory option purchase levels to change significantly going forward.

BMW ConnectedDrive Upgrades (also known as Functions on Demand) on the other hand is designed to offer premium features through software upload that use data and sensors from factory option hardware already built into BMW vehicles.

As an example, some BMW models equipped with certain specific options from the factory can currently add the first two features available in the US – namely a dash cam function called BMW Drive Recorder and BMW Remote Engine Start function—through a software download into the customer’s vehicle. The BMW Drive Recorder feature uses the cameras needed for advanced driver assist systems for dash cam functionality. This gives customers the possibility of adding new software-based functionality and a degree of flexibility in that they will be able to test, and then decide whether or not to purchase a vehicle feature that was not initially available at the time of the original vehicle purchase.

With BMW ConnectedDrive Upgrade, customers will be able to explore new software-based features on a short-term basis by purchasing a trial, or buying that feature outright for a period of time or for the life of the vehicle. It is important to note that BMW ConnectedDrive Upgrade is intended primarily as a digital aftersales solution and will not affect options that were ordered at the time of the vehicle purchase.

Please note that BMW ConnectedDrive Upgrade is part of a global aftersales strategy that BMW has introduced in many markets around the world, including on a small-scale basis in the U.S. The features that are available in this digital aftersales online store will vary from market-to-market. Customers can browse the available features their vehicle in their local market BMW ConnectedDrive store.

Prepared by BMW.