Toyota has revealed that customers will need to pay a subscription fee to use the remote start functionality of their key fobs.
Remote start is a popular add-on feature for many vehicles, and can be a life-saver in cold or extremely hot weather. Unfortunately, Toyota customers who thought their vehicles came with remote start are in for a bit of a surprise: They’ll need to pay a subscription fee to continue using it.
Subscription-based services have become incredibly popular in the tech industry, with everyone from enterprise software providers to shareware authors opting for the licensing model. That model seems to be making its way into the automotive industry, with luxury manufacturers turning to subscriptions to unlock high-end features.
In a turn of events, however, the world’s largest automaker appears to also be embracing subscription-based services. According to The Drive, 2018 and later Toyota models with a key fob that includes remote start will require a Remote Connect subscription in order to continue working.
If more automakers embrace Toyota’s position, it’s a safe bet the demand for aftermarket remote start kits will skyrocket.