Current Toyota drivers may not be thrilled with the fact that they have to subscribe to be able to start remotely with their key fobs, but what about new buyers? There is mixed news. The automaker told Roadshow in a statement that remote starting will not be available on key fob for new vehicles. In other words, you will have to use the brand’s mobile app. That said, you might not mind the cost.
You may never have to pay for the feature. While it was previously clear that 2018 to 2020 vehicles were limited to a three-year trial period with Connected Services, some 2020 model year and newer vehicles include a 10-year trial period. There is a real possibility that you will have switched to another car by the time the freebie expires.
This still won’t appeal to anyone who prefers the simplicity of a remote, or owners who plan to keep their vehicle for a long time. You may have to pay extra to maintain the functionality of your car for much of its life. We wouldn’t count on Toyota backtracking, mind you. Like many companies, Toyota is turning to services to provide a more stable revenue stream than just through sales. Remote start probably won’t be a windfall if it’s only going to fetch $80 a year in ten years, but it shows where Toyota’s strategy is headed.
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