#Fail: Toyota Makes Owners Pay To Start Their Cars Via Their Key Fob

In one of the dumbest moves since BMW tried to make Apple CarPlay a subscription service, Toyota in their infinite wisdom has apparently decided that it’s a great idea for them to charge a subscription to let owners of Toyota vehicles start their cars using the key fobs:

A Toyota spokesperson confirmed to The Drive that if a 2018 or later Toyota is equipped with Toyota’s Remote Connect functions, the vehicle must be enrolled in a valid subscription in order for the key fob to start the car remotely. To be clear, what we’re talking about is the proximity-based RF remote start system, where you press a button on the fob to start the car while outside of it within a certain distance—say, from your front door to warm up your vehicle in the driveway on a cold morning before you get in. Your fob uses radio waves to communicate with the car, and no connection back to Toyota’s servers is needed. But the function will not work without a larger Remote Connect subscription.

This is frankly mind blowingly stupid. Why? It’s not as if I’m trying to start my car from my phone or Apple Watch. I can see them wanting to charge for that and I wouldn’t bat an eye if they did try to make a buck or two from that. But I’m talking about using the factory supplied key fob that is based on an RF radio. This tech has been around since the age of the dinosaurs. There’s no way on God’s green Earth that they should make you pay for that. In short, this is a very cynical attempt by Toyota to make a few bucks on a recurring basis.

All this does for me is ensure that I will never purchase a Toyota product. Just like I removed BMW off my list of cars that I would like to own. And I am going to go out on a limb and say that many other consumers will feel the same way.

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