Starting a Toyota car remotely with key fob will cost the owners $80 a year
Starting a car's engine or AC, opening the car door remotely is a common sight nowadays. Almost all the car companies have been offering these features for the majority of their cars nowadays. The key fobs, that come with the cars don't cost the customers anything extra. However, it seems the situation is going to change soon, as Toyota is paving the way for paid remote access to its cars.
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According to a report by The Drive, customers of Toyota cars built since 2018 will now require a subscription in order to get a key fob to support the remort start functionality. The Japanese automaker has started charging the owners of Toyota cars for the convenience of using key fobs to remotely start their cars. The customers have to pay $80 per year to avail this service. With a major car brand like Toyota starting this, other automakers too might follow the same.
The carmaker is seeing charging for remote access to the car as a new business opportunity. This is just another addition to various other value-added services (VAS) options.
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The report claims that Toyota car buyers are given the option to choose from an array of connected services when they purchase a new car. One of them is Remote Connect, which allows them to start their car remotely using a key fob. Initially, the buyers are offered a free trial of the Remote Connect, but the length of that trial period depends on the audio package that is included with the vehicle.
Not all the car models from the world's largest car brands come with this functionality. Hence, a few select models will be available with this offer. Initially, this subscription will be available in the US market, but at a later stage, it could be extended to other markets as well.
Interestingly, such value-added services are nothing new. Earlier, BMW wanted to charge their customers to use Apple CarPlay connectivity. Mercedes-Benz too offers rear-wheel steering functionality for the EQS in Europe.