Subscription Service Key Fob Trick
First, I would like to begin by stating here and now that I like the cars Toyota makes. When I was an undergraduate with a wife, and a child on the way, it was a Toyota Corolla that carried us to school, to work, to daycare, to summer and winter break cross country family road trips (in-laws included) for more miles than I can remember today.
In fact, I used to defend the purchasing of my Corolla to our neighborhood WWII vets who derided me for buying a Toyota after what they went through during the war fought by the Greatest Generation---my dad included.
Not one to argue with vets and having served in the military myself, I told them it was simple economics. If GM could make me a good family car I could buy under $10K brand new that was known to run for a minimum of 200,000 miles---without expecting any major repairs---I would buy into baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet as well. But, I was struggling to make ends meet back then.
That said to clarify that this is not a Toyota hate piece, I do, however, have issues with the news that Toyota is planning on charging its car buyers with a subscription key fob service that will be required if you want to use a feature like remote-start.
According to a recent article penned by writer Rob Stumpf for The Drive:
“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.”
In other words, you will have to pay-to-play using the Toyota fob proximity-based RF remote start system if you want to start your car remotely on a cold morning to warm it up before exiting your house.
What makes this egregious is that this is not like having to pay for a service like Sirius that requires a fairly-charged digital connection if you want to enjoy the service. Rather, the point is made that the fob uses simple radio waves (like your garage door opener) to communicate with the car, “…with no connection back to Toyota's servers needed.”
A Warning That This is The Future for Car Buyers
For more about why Toyota is doing this and what it means to future car buyers, here is a recent video that discusses it in more depth by the Steve Lehto YouTube channel:
Toyota Plans to Charge You to Use Your Key Fob
So, there we have it. Will this prove to be just a bad idea by a good car company, or is this really just what we can expect in the very near future as another part of the price of owning a car?
Send us your thoughts: Let us know what you think about Toyota’s plan in the comments section below. Will these kind of tactics change your car buying preferences?
For additional articles about nebulous car practices that affect car owners check out these two selected articles on how it Turns Out Tesla Owners Technically Do Not Own Their Cars; and, how This Garage Could Save You Thousands of Dollars When Things Go Wrong With Your Tesla.”
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Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.
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