Mercedes is the latest automaker to jump on the most deplorable trend in the industry, charging $1,200 annually for faster acceleration.
Automakers looking for ways to nickel and dime their customers have turned to subscriptions as their method of choice, locking access to existing features unless customers pay the subscription price. Mercedes is the latest to adopt this practice, with plans to charge $1,200 for customers that want faster acceleration.
Mercedes EQ electric vehicles (EVs) will come with reduced horsepower and torque, which will be increased if customers pony up the extra cash annually. The overall performance of the vehicle will increase as well.
“Fine tuning of the electric motors increases the maximum motor output (kW) of your Mercedes-EQ by 20 to 24%, depending on the original output from factory,” Mercedes explains on its website. “The torque is also increased, enabling your vehicle to accelerate noticeably faster and more powerfully. This shortens the time it takes to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH by around 0.8 to 0.9 seconds. This additional output is available in all DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs.”
Mercedes’ move follows similar ones by other automakers. For example, BMW announced plans to charge $18 per month to unlock the heated seats already present in the vehicle.
The problem has become so bad that New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban automakers from charging a subscription for features that are already built into a vehicle.
As we have stated before, it is completely understandable to charge a subscription fee for services that require ongoing updates, such as GPS mapping services. It is certainly understandable to charge for other subscription services, such as satellite radio.
On the other hand, it is nothing but unmitigated greed and absurdity to charge customers to use features that are already included in the vehicle and that do not cost the automaker anything. If a user purchases a vehicle with a certain set of features, ALL of those features should be available and unlocked.