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Toyota to make Key-Fob command start a subscription service

ChasingOurTrunks

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This is one of the many reasons the Grenadier appeals to me. Imagine paying a fee to be able to start your car with the key that is using technology that’s been around since the 1980s for cars and since the 1800s for radio waves in general.Here is the article from The Drive. https://www.thedrive.com/news/43329/toyota-made-its-key-fob-remote-start-into-a-subscription-service
Now, I do pay $14.99 per month for my cars On Star system, which allows me to start my car with my phone. It also gives me diagnostic info, fuel range, and location of the vehicle as well as enhanced safety services. But the car works fine without it, including the key-fob command start, and I don’t mind paying in this case because my phone has to connect back to GMC as does my car for these features, which I like, to work. And I get there are ongoing costs to this, and I know not everyone needs or wants these features so I don’t mind paying monthly instead of it being baked into the price of the truck. But a key fob has no such ongoing “call home” feature as the article states, and so to require a subscription is absolute madness. 

I also note that some vehicles sold as recently as 2019 are about to be essentially bricked for any connected services because of the retiring of the 3G network in the USA. Imagine having a 3-year old car that simply won’t give you navigation, command start, etc. even though you shelled out a premium for those features.

The Ineos approach — “keep it simple and just set it up so folks can plug in their phones” - is looking better and better in an automotive industry that seems to care less and less about the driver and more and more about profit with every passing year.

Edit: it occurred to me that I don’t want to come across as bashing Toyota. I love the land cruiser, FJ, Tundra, Tacoma, and Hilux, and they’d all be welcome in my driveway. The issue is this practice of charging for things that should be part of the purchase price. BMW tried to do it with apple car play, and the article mentions rear wheel steering as being a subscription service for Mercedes. It seems this is where the auto industry is going, as contrasted to the Ineos approach. Just wanted to make that clear!
 

stickshifter

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ChasingOurTrunks said:
This is one of the many reasons the Grenadier appeals to me. Imagine paying a fee to be able to start your car with the key that is using technology that’s been around since the 1980s for cars and since the 1800s for radio waves in general.Here is the article from The Drive.   https://www.thedrive.com/news/43329/toyota-made-its-key-fob-remote-start-into-a-subscription-service
Now, I do pay $14.99 per month for my cars On Star system, which allows me to start my car with my phone. It also gives me diagnostic info, fuel range, and location of the vehicle as well as enhanced safety services. But the car works fine without it, including the key-fob command start, and I don’t mind paying in this case because my phone has to connect back to GMC as does my car for these features, which I like, to work. And I get there are ongoing costs to this, and I know not everyone needs or wants these features so I don’t mind paying monthly instead of it being baked into the price of the truck. But a key fob has no such ongoing “call home” feature as the article states, and so to require a subscription is absolute madness. 

I also note that some vehicles sold as recently as 2019 are about to be essentially bricked for any connected services because of the retiring of the 3G network in the USA. Imagine having a 3-year old car that simply won’t give you navigation, command start, etc. even though you shelled out a premium for those features.

The Ineos approach — “keep it simple and just set it up so folks can plug in their phones” - is looking better and better in an automotive industry that seems to care less and less about the driver and more and more about profit with every passing year.

Edit: it occurred to me that I don’t want to come across as bashing Toyota. I love the land cruiser, FJ, Tundra, Tacoma, and Hilux, and they’d all be welcome in my driveway. The issue is this practice of charging for things that should be part of the purchase price. BMW tried to do it with apple car play, and the article mentions rear wheel steering as being a subscription service for Mercedes. It seems this is where the auto industry is going, as contrasted to the Ineos approach. Just wanted to make that clear!

I agree with your position - that paying a monthly fee for something like On Star is substantively different than paying a monthly fee for remote start. Its a bit disappointing to see this from Toyota.

I also don't think there is anything wrong with criticizing something you see as worthy of criticism. There is a difference between rational commentary and irrational vitriol; your comments clearly land in the camp of rational commentary. Like you, I like Toyota products; there are currently three in our driveway: my old 1997 Tacoma, my 2017 Tacoma, and my wife's 2019 4-Runner. I've also owned a 1975 Landcruiser (FJ-40), and a 1985 Toyota pickup (among other vehicles). This will never stop me from criticizing Toyota when I see shortcomings. For example, my 3rd Gen Tacoma has no where near the build quality of the 4-Runner, lacks the fully boxed frame of the 4-Runner (which is noticeable when driving), lacks low-end torque, and lacks gearing in the manual transmission appropriate for the engine. For my end use and in the conditions I drive, these are real issues. I'm sure that people with a different end use, or in different environments, don't share my view.

When they are at their best, auto forums are a place where folks can share knowledge, experience, and critically assess vehicles of interest. I don't have much use for a forum where rational criticism is jumped on by the brand-loyal. So thanks for sharing your genuine perspective!
 

Beowulf

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I'm with you as well.  I have a 2022 Lexus GX460.  I will not be paying for any subscription as I did not use it enough.  It was nice to have, check stuff and use from time to time, but not for the $8 per month they quoted.
 

Spjnr

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It's not just the car world. 

It seems 'pay monthly' systems are creeping into our everyday lives more and more. Reason being, its a solid dependable income for companies on a spreadsheet. 

I've been of the opinion for a while that the electric car will bring about leasing like we've never seen before.  Why buy an expensive vehicle thats out of date in 5 years and loses 20% of its range? Cars will become mobile phones, with people getting their "upgrade" every 3 years, and doing so on a subscription basis.

All a plan to make people own fewer commodities. 
 

emax

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> Toyota ...

Outrageous.

Not much more to say.
 
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