Toyota makes you pay to start your car remotely with your keys
Toyota makes you pay to start your car remotely with your keys

Toyota charges drivers for the convenience of using their master keys to remotely start their vehicles.

According to The Drive report, the company's 2018 models and later will need to subscribe to an ignition switch to support the remote start feature.

As the report notes, when buying a new Toyota, buyers can choose from a number of connected services, one of which, called remote connectivity, includes the ability to remote start the car using the ignition key.

Buyers can try Remote Connect for free. However, the trial period depends on the audio package included with the car.

Some business models support Audio Plus or Premium Audio packages, which provide free trials.

In other words, the remote start function of the keychain is associated with the audio case that came with it.

The company has confirmed that after the free trial period ends, users will have to pay for the remote activation feature.

Cars equipped with Audio Plus can offer the driver a luxury experience of 3 years of free remote start, while cars equipped with Premium Audio offer free remote start service for 10 years.

Then the driver has to pay $8 per month or $80 per year for the full remote login service, which includes keychain remote activation.

On the Toyota Remote Connect side, it's not clear if a keychain remote start feature is included in the plan.

The site states that the long-distance service will allow drivers to use their smartwatches, smart home devices or smartphones to operate their cars. However, there is no mention of using the power button for remote start operations.

As pointed out by The Drive, some users seem to have been aware of this for years. In a 2019 post on the Toyota Nation forum, users discuss the keychain remote activation feature.

As long as the free trial is available, Toyota's functionality will continue

Some users claim that their ignition key can still start their car remotely. But most users of this theme have Toyota 2018 or later. This means that they can still be protected with a free trial.

These subscription-protected features are generally limited to luxury car brands. In 2018, BMW required drivers to pay an Apple Car Play subscription once a year. In addition to the $300 to install the feature, there is an initial fee.

The German automaker changed its decision nearly two years later. However, at BMW, you can still pay to unlock new car functions.

The all-electric Porsche Taycan has a similar system called Function on Demand. Enables the driver to purchase new optional functions for the car such as: b. Active Lane Keeping System or Dynamic Additional Lighting System.

Meanwhile, Cadillac paid users $25 a month after trying out a free hands-free Super Cruise driving mode, which was stuck in the new Escalade due to a lack of chips.

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