r/technology Jul 19 '22

BMW Wants to Charge for Heated Seats. These Grey Market Hackers Will Fix That. Security

https://www.vice.com/en/article/7k8bv9/bmw-wants-to-charge-for-heated-seats-these-grey-market-hackers-will-fix-that
7.6k Upvotes

1.8k

u/VikingOriginal Jul 19 '22

Good for them.

Charging you for features on a car you own is pretty shite tbh.

770

u/boundbylife Jul 19 '22

I almost understand FSD as a service, given how much technical lift is handled in the background. But heated seats are just some radiative wires inside the cushions. Its 100-year old tech. Frankly, they should be standard on all cars at this point.

286

u/JesusIsMyLord666 Jul 19 '22

It's almost impossible to buy a car without it in Nordic countries. I don't think I've ever seen a car without one that isn't 40+ years old.

170

u/Nikiaf Jul 19 '22 edited Jul 19 '22

The features included in a car are picked by the local subsidiary of the brand. This is why Nordic countries, as qwll well as places like Canada basically have heated seats as standard equipment even if they're not in other jurisdictions.

71

u/fantasmoofrcc Jul 19 '22

I tell that to my father (N. Ontario) who bought a 2016 F250 without heated seats/steering wheel..."this shit is standard for a reason you fool!".

38

u/madmaxlemons Jul 19 '22

Heated steering wheel is one I haven’t heard but would freaking love on colder days or up in the mountains(but probably mostly useless for me in northern Cali)

19

u/OhHelloPlease Jul 19 '22

I'm up in Edmonton, Canada and as someone without a garage, heated steering wheels are amazing, even better than heated seats.

65

u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

I love my heated steering. Even use it in the summer when the AC is too cold and my hands are chilled.

First world problems 100%z

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u/I_Bin_Painting Jul 19 '22

I hate heated seats (I think it feels like I've pissed myself) but I think I'd like the heated steering wheel.

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u/werdnosbod Jul 19 '22

Wait til you try the ventilated AC seats

6

u/PETNman Jul 20 '22

Will never own another car without it. 10/10, more important than water.

3

u/cincymatt Jul 20 '22

My old golf had heated seats and it was so confusing when someone would leave it on and you didn’t notice. You would come to the realization that something was wrong, and then it would click - seat warmers.

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u/wireditfellow Jul 19 '22

You need cooled steering wheel in north cal.

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u/moopey Jul 19 '22

As a Swede I thought it was standard feature like AC

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u/papertowelwithcake Jul 19 '22

Technically even AC isn't standard. You can buy new cars without AC

11

u/ELB2001 Jul 19 '22

No idea who does that tho. My aunt has AC but refuses to use it.

21

u/papertowelwithcake Jul 19 '22

Mostly fleet cars, they're way cheaper without AC and some companies just don't give a fuck about their employees. I recently saw brand new, bare bones fiat pandas for 9k. Add in the AC and it's almost 11k. A couple years ago I was looking at vw t6 and the stock versions without AC were 24k, compared to 27k with AC.

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u/ExtraMail4962 Jul 19 '22

In india newer cars have seats with AC inside because it's so hot outside

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u/DeuceSevin Jul 19 '22

It’s impossible to buy a car without heated seats in my house. My wife and I both agree that lack of heated seats on a new car is a show stopper.

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u/buttholedbabybatter Jul 19 '22

Hey, not to be that guy, but you probably meant something like deal-breaker, when in fact showstopper is usually used positively.

Showstopper: an act, song, or performer that wins applause so prolonged as to interrupt a performance

Or: something or someone exceptionally arresting or attractive.

Anyway, hope that helps!

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u/Vegetable-Move-7950 Jul 21 '22

Maybe they get so cold that it really is a showstopper for this couple. Who are we to judge the consequences of cold seats? lol

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u/designer_of_drugs Jul 19 '22

I like that you got downvoted for having an opinion on how to spend your own money.

Never change Reddit.

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u/Gisschace Jul 19 '22

Yeah I’ve worked in (Software as a Service) SaaS for almost 10 years which kicked off a these ‘as a service’. It makes sense there because you don’t have to pay for maintenance, data storage, back ups or upgrades, as well as support and help to use the product.

I can’t see what it is about heated seats that is a ‘service.

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u/OtisTetraxReigns Jul 19 '22

The ridiculous thing is that you’ve already paid for the hardware. Everything you need for heated seats is in the car already (and was priced-in when you bought it). I’m sure the average BMW owner can afford it, but I don’t know why you’d want to basically punish them for choosing your car.

I really can’t fathom the thinking behind this. It’s the kind of policy that a competitor will beat you around the head with. Except that they’re probably all just waiting to see if BMW gets away with it, so they can all start doing the same.

“Hi. This is your KIA. I’ve detected an imminent collision. Would you like to upgrade to the airbag option? Pay $15.99 for one week of instant* deployment or only $159.99 for a full year of on-demand* coverage!”

*subject to approval.

43

u/celestiaequestria Jul 19 '22

BMW is one of the most leased brands, 70% of their new cars go out on lease. Which makes sense, wealthy customers will get a 3-year all-inclusive lease, and all the features on the car will be unlocked as part of that lease. The person leasing will experience no difference - but the secondary market buyer (or people who keep their leased cars) are now a second double dip of income for BMW, since they can resell those same features.

Most people would opt for the permanent unlock, but like buying a second key for your used car, you find out the hard way it's $400.

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u/haveahappyday1969 Jul 19 '22

This is exactly who they are targeting. They want a continued stream of revenue on their brand. There are millions of people who have bought vehicles in the secondary market who have never or will never spend a dime with the manufacturer. I'm sure the thought is, why should someone drive "their brand" if they've never even given a dime to them?

What this will do is bring the value of the vehicle down in the secondary market. If BMW wants $200 a year to heat my seats and I feel I'll own the car for 5 to 10 years, I'd be willing to buy the car for $2000 less to make up that cost. It's no different if I buy a vehicle that I know will need maintenance.

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u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

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u/haveahappyday1969 Jul 19 '22

My neighbor owns a Ferrari and wow the expense and demands of owning it is ridiculous. He can afford it, but damn.

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u/greentr33s Jul 19 '22

To be fair that is not really why Ferrari does it, its more so to keep the car viewed as a driving experience as it should instead of becoming super appreciating value asset like real estate. They allow anyone to buy used from them but you need to be a brand embasador in order to buy limited runs NEW. If you look at most hyper cars they have resale clauses on them specifing if they can sell afterwards for a profit and if they do where they have to give that money in an attempt to keep hyper cars from becoming another speculative asset class used by the wealthy for tax evasion and overleveraging themselves.

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u/anakhizer Jul 19 '22

Which is an interesting situation, if you think about the fact that (I assume at least) most new BMW buyers will want to sell that car / return it to the dealer for a newer model - already factoring in the resale value during buying (at least I would imagine so).

In other words, BMW does get revenue due to the 2nd hand market as more new cars are sold than if the 2nd hand market for BMW-s was really bad.

All in all, this is a very strange decision by them and I really hope it fails spectacularly.

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u/noahsmybro Jul 19 '22

BMW is one of the most leased brands, 70% of their new cars go out on lease.

That makes sense. I’ve heard and told others many times that you never want to own a BMW out of warranty. The cars are engineered and built specifically to be leased. Any components or labor for repairs are prohibitively expensive.

12

u/fcisler Jul 19 '22

Long story but the wife "inherited" a 10 year old 3 series. It didn't start. Towed it to a shop and they fixed a ground strap and programmed a new battery.

I was under the impression that we were selling it. Got it home, cleaned it up and checked it out - check engine light. Ok no big deal - pull out my code reader. 6 codes. 4 of them make no sense. Oh - i need a bmw reader. Ok. Tow it back in. $500 later all is good. Except it's not. Same codes trigger.

Wife now wants to keep said BMW. I have a buyer lined up at around $2k less then i figure i could get with no check engine lights. They are aware of the codes and have agreed to buy as is. Wife is unhappy with this. I've tried explaining over and over that we could easily spend over $2k to get it in top shape and that at this age a significant amount of the fixes i will be unable to perform. I swapped out the alternator and belt on my GMC in the road in about an hour so she just figured I'm being lazy. No amount of reasoning can convince her that putting money into a 10 year old BMW is just a horrible idea.

She's having it towed to a friend of a friend's shop now. I'm hoping this won't be an overly expensive lesson for her.

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u/johnlewisdesign Jul 19 '22

Putting money into a 10 year old BMW is fine, if you know how to maintain and fix them yourself (and know a lemon when you see one).

9

u/fcisler Jul 19 '22

With 140k miles that's shown obvious signs that it's been "customized" and has an unknown service/maintenance history? I put that into a lemon category.

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u/johnlewisdesign Jul 19 '22

Yeah so would I! lol

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u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

Prohibitively expensive is relative.

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u/tajaoude Jul 19 '22

I mean I drive a 2019 Volvo XC40 and received a “complimentary subscription” through the end of my financing to the Volvo app, which in this case is the only way I can remote start my car. Come 2024 when the financing is up - I need to pay hundreds of dollars to renew my subscription or lose the ability to start my car through the app. kind of reads as the same thing but over a longer period of time?

25

u/Oh-Fo-Sho Jul 19 '22

Ah, that to me sounds like, "Your time with this car is up! Please buy a new one that will also come with a complimentary subscription! If you don't, please shell out hundreds of dollars a year as a punishment for not upgrading."

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u/Yarper Jul 19 '22

Reminds me of the time Jaguar called one of the directors of our company to try and convince him to buy a new one. They said they really needed used stock so they'd give him a good price for his XKR. It had halved in value in a few years. We all laughed because he was a useless prick that had fluked his way into money. He had a one off idea which he sold and stole a living by sitting on company boards because people thought he was a successful businessman.

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u/sephrisloth Jul 19 '22

Most places around me will install a remote starter for $100 idk if it's possible with a newer car like that when it's already got one through the app but if it's possible I'd go that way instead of that ridiculous subscription.

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u/tajaoude Jul 19 '22

For sure going to do this if it won’t mess with the existing starter and I decide to not trade it in by then!

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u/MrDr-666 Jul 19 '22

You have to watch though. Now a lot of the warranty contracts are 100% dependent on not upgrading or using the cars in certain ways. When I was looking into a Hellcat it was one of those cars that any service on it can kill the warranty if it’s not through an acceptable place or through them. Idk how strict BMW is considering I’ve never bought a new one but if they’re like Audi then installing those aftermarket starters could void some services they’d normally offer for free.

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u/Saiboogu Jul 19 '22

Most of those warranty disclaimers fall apart in court or are outright illegal in most jurisdictions. You can only deny for things directly impacted by the modification, not unilaterally for any unapproved service.

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u/notyocheese1 Jul 19 '22

Similar situation with my 2017 Mercedes. The service that underpins remote start and a couple of other features expired. It costs $200/year to renew, which is nuts. As overpriced as it is, I might even consider it if I didn't have to CALL THEM ON THE PHONE AND READ MY CREDIT CARD NUMBER TO A STRANGER to renew it. That's a bridge too far. I suspect they do this to make it super hard to cancel, but I'm not playing.

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u/fullsaildan Jul 19 '22

I somewhat understand a subscription model for something like remote start from a phone because there would be infrastructure and bandwidth costs associated with an over the web solution. Obviously non mobile based ones exist and can be done cheaper but I don’t manufactures will support them due to security concerns.

But basic functions with no need for ongoing maintenance or external infrastructure (like heated seats) have no business being a subscription model. I’m not getting anything extra or better by paying per month. The manufacturers are just trying to profit off standardization. They can manufacture all cars the same lowering production costs, and charge a premium fee for “turning the features on”. Otherwise they’d have to increase base cost or give more features “away”.

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u/CountMordrek Jul 19 '22

More like Volvo paying for a cellphone subscription for the car and you needing to extend that.

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u/haveahappyday1969 Jul 19 '22

Oh that charge isn't necessarily for you, but the future owners of the vehicle. You may foot the bill for a few years, but you sell your vehicle in 6 years, the next owner has to keep paying.

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u/onemany Jul 19 '22

It's the kind of policy that every car marker is going to embrace.

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u/Andrige3 Jul 19 '22

Only if people start actually paying for it and don’t switch to another brand which doesn’t charge for heated seats

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u/DeuceSevin Jul 19 '22

I can see the lower priced cars having a field day with this - advertising how their car is almost as luxurious as a BMW or MB, plus it comes with heated seats at no extra cost.

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u/ttv_CitrusBros Jul 19 '22

Because to them $160 is like $1 to you and me. The problem is the second hand market for bmws is gonna suck because that's the people that might not be able to afford it

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u/teastain Jul 19 '22

My 2008 VW Golf City (entry Level car, no options) has heated seats.

Canada represent!

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u/haveahappyday1969 Jul 19 '22

This isn't really for the new car owner, yes they have to pay for it, but it is really a long term strategy and continued revenue on a vehicle that is over 4 years old. Once the car is out of warranty and or included scheduled service, the car manufacturers want a continued revenue stream. Sell your vehicle 10 years later, BMW doesn't get a piece of that sale, but they will get revenue from the new owner who wants the heated seats.

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u/Saisei Jul 19 '22

It feels gross to me so if I can save money then I would always choose not to have it. But I think it should be simple enough to have it installed or they could just sell you a heated seat to install. Fuck paying for a service that is literally just permission to use your hardware.

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u/RavynArcadia Jul 19 '22

I'd love to see cooling seats be standard too.

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u/Hewlett-PackHard Jul 19 '22

Even FSD is handled by onboard silicon you've already paid for and own, it's not running on their data center or anything, the latency would be unacceptable.

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u/boundbylife Jul 19 '22

I'm talking about the software, not the hardware. Yes, the hardware for FSD is installed, but the hardware alone can't just make FSD happen. They have to train and program the software in a datacenter somewhere. Ultimately, that's what you're paying for, a software license. I imagine as the tech becomes better and updates to the model become farther-spaced, we might actually reach a point where FSD just becomes baked in, not unlike Android Auto.

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u/Hewlett-PackHard Jul 19 '22

Maybe, if it's not banned for being a dangerously over-marketed adaptive cruise control system.

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u/I_LuV_k1tt3n5 Jul 19 '22

But also, eBay kits are 100$. It took me an afternoon and now I have heated seats.

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u/celestiaequestria Jul 19 '22

All hackers agree on that one. It's absolutely absurd that in a couple of years these BMWs will be sold off-lease with features disabled just to try and nickel-and-dime the secondary market buyers.

If you own something, you have the right modify it as you see fit, and that includes updating the software to enable the heated seats.

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u/celticchrys Jul 19 '22

If I wanted the second-hand car enough to make it worth buying, I would do stuff like replace the driver's seat with a heated one before I would pay BMW. I mean, it's not complex tech, your basic heated seat.

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u/Hal_Fenn Jul 19 '22 edited Jul 19 '22

It's been going on for a while, just not quite to this extent. Me and my other half brought an audi at the beginning of the year and took it to a small garage nearby where the guy enabled all the additional features like sat nav, Google and Apple carplay etc etc. Cost like £100 when audi wanted over £2000... Fucking ridiculous.

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u/MaelstromFL Jul 19 '22

This was literally my first thought! Way to make hacking your car a "thing"!

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u/Latter-Pain Jul 19 '22

Withholding resources for no other reason than profit, shittiest thing you can do.

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u/chickenlounge Jul 19 '22

Welcome to capitalism. You must be new here.

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u/FrankWDoom Jul 19 '22

Which is why its a dead end for the used market. People who buy used BMWs are trying to project a certain image without spending money. Or an enthusiast who isn't going to put up with that shit.

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u/DrSmirnoffe Jul 19 '22

This is what we need. And it's what greasy money-grubbers deserve.

Of course, we need to make prosecution of jailbreakers shockingly unprofitable, where the company would lose way more than they'd make if they just surrender to their real gods: the customers.

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u/whiskeybidniss Jul 19 '22

I can kinda barely agree with rental features that require servers and wireless monitoring, but charging for features like heated seats or power windows or anything of the sort is a deal-killing F-U from me.

Greed is NOT good, and this is nothing short of pure greed.

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u/PlugSlug Jul 19 '22

Cant wait to have to jailbreak my fridge so I can not starve to death

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u/Confident-Earth4309 Jul 19 '22

They already kind of have this with fridge water filters that stop putting out water if you don’t change it.

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u/Jay-Five Jul 19 '22

Right. And also RFID locked so you have to use the manufacture brand and not an aftermarket.

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u/CognitiveMonkey Jul 19 '22

In the future you will have to swipe your credit card to open your fridge.

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u/kontekisuto Jul 19 '22

You get charged for spoiled food

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u/Pancakethunder Jul 19 '22

See, you bought the base subscription, it only comes with 10 open/close per day. You will want the premium unlimited version ( premium unlimited allows 24 open/close per 24h after that 0,5$ per open and 0,5$ per close)

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u/Komikaze06 Jul 19 '22 Starstruck

I feel no pain in hacking a device I paid for, screw this "you paid for the privilege to use it, no the device itself" garbage

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u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

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u/mdielmann Jul 19 '22

You understand you're paying monthly for the heated seat to be active, right? This isn't, "Pay $300 to upgrade to heated seats, you'll never hear from us again." This is, "Sorry, your payment didn't go through, your ass will freeze til this is corrected." They're simplifying their supply channel, probably making all their customers pay for it, and then charging a monthly fee if they actually want to use it.

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u/AttackingHobo Jul 20 '22

"Pay $300 to upgrade to heated seats, you'll never hear from us again."

Actually its pretty close to that, just a bit more expensive.

A monthly subscription to heat your BMW’s front seats costs roughly $18, with options to subscribe for a year ($180), three years ($300), or pay for “unlimited” access for $415.

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u/Latter-Pain Jul 19 '22

Hacking the system? I think you mean tampering with heavy machinery and endangering others. God I just wrote the argument for them…we’re so fucked

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u/xabhax Jul 19 '22

Erm. Safety features and convenience features are usually separated and don't interact. So modifying you car to get heated seats isn't gonna mess up your airbags

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u/doodlebug001 Jul 19 '22

Not until they wise up and start making them interconnected so they can prosecute you for that.

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u/CanolaIsAlsoRapeseed Jul 20 '22

They don't have to be interconnected or even related at all because the technology illiterate are the ones who write our laws and their understanding of hacking comes from the goth chick on NCIS.

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u/-The_Blazer- Jul 20 '22

Can't wait until they pull a Microsoft and make the airbags dependent on the heated seats DRM.

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u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

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u/Nixon_Percutio Jul 19 '22

I must be missing something in the difference between mechanical upgrades and software changes. I don't think the large aftermarket performance industry will take being deleted sitting down, and surely that must be done away with before software modding is outlawed. Also the requirement to have automation on a car isn't on the horizon as far as I know much less how it is standardized nationwide and shouldn't that come first if it's going to be legally controlled?

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u/PandaMoniumHUN Jul 19 '22

Oh boi, you must be the antichrist to the people in r/apple who were arguing for months on why sideloading and third party appstores shouldn’t be allowed on their phones.

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u/JCamson04 Jul 19 '22

Lol what? Are they serious?

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u/SgtDoughnut Jul 19 '22

Many of them are, they are 100% behind the walled garden approach.

It has some advantages, but it should be something you opt into and maintain yourself not something the company you buy a product from forces you into.

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u/CavalierJacques Jul 19 '22

Ehh. I go back and forth on this one. There are definitely pros and cons but having used iOS and Android for mobile, and Windows, macOS, and some Linux for PC, I would prefer the garden be the default for my Apple products maybe with a potential to opt out if you want to maintain yourself. (macOS kind of does this by allowing install of apps not from their ecosystem but still making it a little harder and warning the user. And Ubuntu does this for oob users by having to explicitly whitelist where software can originate.)

I admit I am less well read on how opening the Apple garden for their other products might be achieved while continuing to offer some protections to those still in the garden, but I am sure there are ways to do it.

Slightly disagree with the notion of being forced into it though. The walled garden is fairly well known (and Androids and other OS options for other hardware are plentiful, varied, and can be extremely customizable) so it strikes me more as buying a house on the beach when you hate the sound of the surf. With such a plethora of options to not be in the garden, I’ve never quite understood the polarizing effect it seems to have.

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u/mikehiler2 Jul 19 '22

Ok, so, maybe you can help me out here. I’ve tried reading and re-reading your comment a couple times trying to make it make sense to me. Not in the context of this thread, anyway.

You appear to be talking about MacOS. Not iOS or iPadOS. Is this correct?

If it is, then, from a software perspective, it’s nearly impossible for Apple to prevent 3rd party software from being installed into a computer, even with the newer internally controlled hardware versions. It’s still a computer that connects to the internet which is shared with all the other tech that’s connected.

This is more geared towards mobile, iOS and iPadOS. Those are isolated ecosystems that cannot be “sideloaded” into without Apple’s permission.

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u/290077 Jul 20 '22

It has some advantages, but it should be something you opt into and maintain yourself not something the company you buy a product from forces you into.

I mean, it is something you opt in to. Apple has numerous competitors.

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u/shinra528 Jul 19 '22

No he’s not. Anti-sideloaders are a minority on /r/apple.

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u/Johnothy_Cumquat Jul 19 '22

Yeah man they hate having choices for some reason

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u/shinra528 Jul 19 '22

Are we frequenting the same /r/apple? Pro-sideloadera outnumber anti-sideloaders at least 3-1 in my experience over there.

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u/Leeper64 Jul 19 '22

Jailbreak 4 life

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u/DieFlavourMouse Jul 19 '22

Don't say grey market hackers.

Do say third party software engineers.

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u/Artago Jul 19 '22

Always be nice to your friendly neighborhood software engineer :D

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u/Broue Jul 19 '22 edited Jul 19 '22

It’s a beamer just rewire the seats to the signal lights plug

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u/Shuckle1 Jul 19 '22

You may not be able to do that. If I were a shitty car company, I would encode a value into the heating elements that the cars computer needs to check every time you turn the heated seats on.

This would prevent people from just rewiring it.

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u/edstatue Jul 19 '22

Code Angels

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u/pmjm Jul 20 '22

For things like heated seats, I'm totally in favor.

For things like Tesla Autopilot, I'd rather not be on the road with cars that are controlled by software modified by "third party software engineers."

There are some really good software engineers out there. But when peoples' lives are at risk you need some kind of accountability. In fact, I'd bet insurers will eventually refuse to cover people who modify their autopilot.

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u/aShittierShitTier4u Jul 19 '22

If ever there was an incentive from OEM, for people to figure out how to bypass this, oh my goodness. They spent billions so they could roll coal and cheat emissions testing. Now that they want to nickel and dime their own customers for features they paid for, by locking them out via software, they'll wish they hadn't messed around with emissions, and focused on security. In the meantime, as they struggle to catch up, hackers will probably figure out all kinds of improvements that they can implement themselves. Open source auto manufacture, come on down

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u/polarbearrape Jul 19 '22

I'll be honest, I'm terrified for the day that 16 year olds are being given their parents used Tesla. It's going to be so easy to jailbreak them. Imagine a ton of new drivers in cars faster than we've ever seen before who have disabled all of the monitoring and safety features... I was dangerous enough in my 1982 shitbox Toyota pickup with like 85hp...

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u/Kryptosis Jul 19 '22

Not sure if I see how a Tesla with safety features disabled is more dangerous than a shitbox with no safety features to begin with

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u/puremensan Jul 19 '22

Speed and acceleration capabilities.

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u/el_doherz Jul 19 '22

Plus lithium fires are no joke.

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u/Kryptosis Jul 19 '22

Fair and I suppose they are much more quiet so that could raise the danger level.

People are already jailbreaking their cars to change the fake engine noise or make their cars fart at pedestrians

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u/GuelphEastEndGhetto Jul 19 '22

Where do I sign up for a vehicle that farts at the obnoxiously loud motorbike next to me?

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u/nf5 Jul 19 '22 edited Jul 19 '22

More than quiet, Tesla's are heavy from all of the dense batteries. So not only are they going very fast, but they're moving several tons of weight. The amount of energy there is intense.

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u/2gig Jul 20 '22

hey are much more quiet so that could raise the danger level.

Some cars actually have speakers on the outside to make car noises as a safety feature for pedestrians, because the car is dangerously quiet otherwise. Disabling this via jailbreak is going to result in bad.

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u/OtisTetraxReigns Jul 19 '22

Because a Tesla will do 0-60 in less time than it takes to turn over the shitbox’s engine.

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u/doubledogdick Jul 19 '22

It's going to be so easy to jailbreak them.

not at all, take a look at modern apple hardware, that shit is locked down so fucking tight. what is around the corner are devices encrypted and hardware locked to teh point that hacking them is damned near impossible. "hackers willalways find a way", yeah, that was back when hardware had public datasheets, and updates weren't pushed damned near daily.

I am honestly shocked at how open vehicles still currently are, how common using an off the shelf eeprom is in an SRS module, with data stored in literal plain text. the remanents of an era we are almost beyond.

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u/processedmeat Jul 19 '22

It takes about 30 seconds and $20 in parts to break the encryption on Tesla keys to be able to get and and drive off.

Getting into the rest of the system can't be much harder

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u/sunnydaysahead2022 Jul 19 '22

Whose going to buy a luxury car that charges for luxuries? No thank you -

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u/actually-aloof Jul 19 '22

I'm not a big "boycott" person, but any car that moves to subscription-models for features will never see a fucking penny of mine again. Fuck. that.

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u/sadman4332 Jul 19 '22

BMW already charges a subscription for apple car play a device that is already installed and most cars give for free.

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u/actually-aloof Jul 19 '22

that's insane to me. I wouldn't buy a BMW over that alone.

2

u/Tarqee224 Jul 20 '22

It’s been free for 3 years now. Is it really this hard to fact check yourself? Redundant question, I suppose, we already have the answer.

BMW is shit for doing it in the first place, and they charge annual fees for other stuff, but not this.

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u/H__Dresden Jul 19 '22

Copy, never buy a BMW!

55

u/gold_rush_doom Jul 19 '22

Buy it, hack it, profit.

INB4: but you'll lose your warranty. Not in the EU at least, the burden is on BMW to prove that my door has rusted because I hacked my seats.

11

u/H__Dresden Jul 19 '22

I almost bought one during my last vehicle purchase. But the reliability kept me away.

9

u/Wills4291 Jul 19 '22

the reliability kept me away

This. Why people buy them in the first place is beyond me.

3

u/Hanz_VonManstrom Jul 19 '22

I’ve had three of them. Two of them gave me no trouble whatsoever and I absolutely loved those. One of them was a certified pre-owned, but I foolishly didn’t check the carfax because I thought it couldn’t have had any accidents in order to be qualified as a certified pre-owned. Turns out it had 3 pretty major accidents. Developed two oil leaks after 2 years and they cost about $600 a piece to fix, and that was at an independent mechanic shop. I have since switched to Toyota

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u/jonesRG Jul 19 '22

If you're willing and capable of doing the work yourself, they're not bad. I imagine it's kind of like having a horse - fun but expensive

2

u/Wills4291 Jul 19 '22

I actually agree with you. But I don't know enough about cars to be confident. In my high school automotive class we learned how to change oil and the importance of changing oil when it's due. That is really all I remember from the class and I have never changed my own oil because the drive thru places are very convenient.

2

u/Y0tsuya Jul 20 '22

I've owned bimmers since 2000 and the engines are fairly robust aside from their first turbo-6. I drove my first one for 15 yrs 180K miles before donating it. The engine still purred like a kitten.

I do 1/2 of the maintenance myself to keep the cost down.

Toyota deemed it reliable enough to basically rebadge the Z4 as their new Supra. That should tell you something.

3

u/Zrgaloin Jul 19 '22

They’re legitimately great handling cars and can be fairly fun in the right hands. I’ve never owned German (but I’ve driven plenty of them) and will end up buying one when my finances look the way they need to.

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u/fettsack2 Jul 19 '22

Their argumentation: Because of the hacked seat occured more evaporation from your swamp ass, therefore the door rusted.

2

u/emote_control Jul 19 '22

Sure they can say that, but can they prove it?

2

u/xabhax Jul 19 '22

It's like that in the US too. Magnusson Moss warranty act

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u/souggg Jul 19 '22

They’re shitty overpriced cars to start with.

6

u/BulljiveBots Jul 19 '22

I drove a manual ‘94 BMW 325is for a few years. Paid about 20K in ‘98 for it. And it was the best driving experience. So much fun to drive. I’d still have it if the upkeep wasn’t so expensive. I miss it.

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u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

This is what I've been saying, the next big market is going to be creating 3rd party firmware and OS for smart cars. Only issue is going to be keeping features like driver assist since 3rd parties dont have the resources to make a good version

23

u/t_for_top Jul 19 '22

BMW3_update3.4_ jailbreak

Working: power train, heated seats

Bugs: You tell me!

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u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

[deleted]

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u/jechhh Jul 19 '22

To play game, go inside the 'BMW.HEATED.SEATS.Edition.v1.02.2' folder, then the 'HEAT' folder, right click and run 'bmw' as administrator

If you get any missing dll errors or the game isn't launching, go inside the _Redist folder and install all 8 programs in the folder

17

u/excoriator Jul 19 '22

My wipers just started running and won't stop. Now what?

12

u/Iron_Chic Jul 19 '22

Aren't they charging $0.04 per wipe?

3

u/mindluge Jul 20 '22

that's why i have a windshield bidet

2

u/fettsack2 Jul 19 '22

Clamp'em off.

2

u/FoodMadeFromRobots Jul 19 '22

You need to install the mod manager (3.5, 4.0 is buggy still) and then turn of you internet run and install and then turn it back on

10

u/DirtyPolecat Jul 19 '22

Chiptunes music starts playing out of the dashboard...

2

u/daerogami Jul 19 '22

the early 2000s were a fantastic time

5

u/Artago Jul 19 '22

Make sure for have C++ redistributables installed. If that doesn't work, try reinstalling the .NET framework.

2

u/Significant_Rub6632 Jul 19 '22

Hahaha fellow piracy connoisseur ! I immediately recognized that stupid message from steamunlocked or any other piracy site for games.

34

u/sanfranchristo Jul 19 '22

I think this strategy to gain subscription revenue by charging for access to things that many consumers think they have already paid for is going to backfire big time. They already had to publicly back out of charging for CarPlay. I know this isn't the first instance of auto manufacturers crippling features but usually, most consumers are unaware of those when they are tied to trim packages. This is announcing that they've already spent on installing something but won't give it to you unless you pay more. This will need up being a business school case study.

10

u/jabackes Jul 19 '22

the best/worst instance of this has to be Mazda. I love my CX-5, and owned a Mazda 2, and 3 before it. and plan to investigate their hybrid options as they roll out. that said, their whole, "We're on the CarPlay website at Apple.com! It's coming Soon™" SNAFU was exactly that. Eventually it was pointed out that there needs to be an authentication chip as well as a higher power output USB port installed. so it wasn't just a firmware update as they suggested. in some markets the upgrade cost over $600, just to use hardware you already technically have. pretty lame IMO.

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u/Fallingdamage Jul 19 '22

With all the trim features becoming pay-to-play, people will be able to buy the base/cheapest model, jailbreak it and get all the features of the deluxe package. Itll be like buying a tacoma SR, unlocking the software and having a TRD Pro.

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u/SurealGod Jul 19 '22

Where there's corporate greed, there's a hacker waiting to say fuck you to them

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u/ShinePale Jul 19 '22

Exactly what I predicted. Except is it grey market? Seems white market to have someone make repairs to the automobile you own.

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u/raichiha Jul 19 '22

Just wait until the next update completely bricks your jailbroken car for ‘violating the TOS’

8

u/Blrfl Jul 19 '22

It'll be the DirecTV Black Sunday hack all over again.

2

u/jabackes Jul 19 '22

DirecTV Black Sunday hack

wow, that's an amazing story! mad respect for both sides of that battle for sure.

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u/bluemaciz Jul 19 '22

I had a friend that had a bmw many years ago where there was an auxiliary jack (pre blue tooth days) in the car but hidden behind a panel. Basically it was there in every car but the more expensive version actually had it accessible. Anyway, he figured out where it was, cut a hole to get to it, and then he had use of it.

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u/jackel3415 Jul 19 '22

In 15 years people will be buying black market skeleton keys that just come preloaded with all the luxury features including starting and driving your car.

edit: spelling

5

u/NoComment002 Jul 19 '22

Is BMW going for the biggest pain in the ass automaker in the world or something? All I hear about them is that they're a headache.

3

u/[deleted] Jul 19 '22

They’re becoming more of a pain.

27

u/Ouroboron Jul 19 '22

Fucking Bethesda and that goddamned horse armor. This is what we get for buying that shit.

11

u/Sadpanda77 Jul 19 '22

I was out in 2017 when they stopped including maintenance—this is just unconscionable

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u/sunnydaysahead2022 Jul 19 '22

It will be a cold day in Hell before I buy a luxury car that charges a monthly fee for any luxury we already have -

4

u/Elzerythen Jul 19 '22

Did everyone forget that 5 years ago Tesla did this exact thing?! Literally paid for the vehicle and it already had the ability to go further but they locked out said feature behind a paywall. This lockout feature already exists in vehicles now.

3

u/Rattlingplates Jul 19 '22

Simply cutting the power wire, hooking a switch up to it and running the wire to the battery would fix this… maybe a 15 min job as $10 in supplies max.

3

u/xoctor Jul 20 '22

Alternative take: Maybe it's a good thing if it gives manufacturers motivation to reduce their planned obsolescence and keep their cars on the road longer. These days BMW seem to be very "good" at adding plastic components that will inevitably deteriorate and become faded and brittle over a decade or so.

3

u/290077 Jul 20 '22

If you ever think your job is pointless, just remember that there's someone who designs the turn signals for BMW.

Also, what's the difference between a porcupine and a BMW? A porcupine has pricks on the outside.

3

u/bob88c Jul 20 '22

Simple answer, don’t buy BMW cars

14

u/gbdavidx Jul 19 '22

How many times is someone going to post this? Only way to stop it is to not buy a new bmw

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u/Eaton_Beaver_2 Jul 19 '22

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u/UrbanGhost114 Jul 19 '22

Yet.

Not in the US, YET.

8

u/ArtoriasXX Jul 19 '22

They said only in Korea first, then two days later it was the UK too. You’re next.

4

u/actually-aloof Jul 19 '22

I honestly think the market will reject this with their wallets. I don't see how this could possibly pan out unless every manufacturer quickly follows suit.

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u/Doball Jul 19 '22

So, correct me if I'm wrong, but from my understanding, intead of having an option to upgrade to heated seats, they are just physically instally them on all cars. If you buy and car and pay for the heated seat option, you get heated seats and no subscription. If you buy the base car and no heated seats option, you still get the heated seats hardware, it's just disabled, until you sign up for the subscription and pay for it. This allows BMW to just roll out all cars with the heated seats hardware from the factory. It simplifies install on BMWs end, and it allows them to easily upsell the heated seat option down the line for those who initially choose not to pay for the option. So, no one is paying for the heated seat hardware, then being charges a subscription, rather, they just install the heat seat option on all cars, even those that didn't order the option. For those that didn't order / pay for it, they have the option to later buy a subscription to unlock the heated seats.

I'm not arguing whether this is the best tactic or not, but it's misleading to people who haven't read the article to frame it as a subscription is required to unlock heated seats after you've already paid for the hardware.

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u/beall49 Jul 19 '22

How many fucking times is this gonna get posted? And didn’t we already figure out that you can buy them upfront? And the only way you have to pay a subscription is if you’re cheap as fuck and don’t do it upfront?

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u/1_p_freely Jul 19 '22

I imagine a fictional movie where people put pirated firmware onto their cars to unlock the features for free, but said firmware has a trojan/RAT, and their car gets taken control of by someone across the planet, who can lock the doors, engage the heater, drive the car, and see/talk through the cameras/viewscreen.

Hopefully the above doesn't happen in the real world.

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u/tkrr Jul 19 '22

I’m all for a good jailbreak. And this is coming from a 30-year Apple fan.

2

u/AScarletPenguin Jul 19 '22

If the heating element is already in the seat then 3rd parties will make kits that you can install that will operate the heater via switch, app, rfid, secret handshake, etc.

2

u/surfzz318 Jul 19 '22

Jokes on them, it’s to hot in europe to use heated seats now

2

u/cesarxp2 Jul 19 '22

You wouldn't download a BMW

2

u/samcrut Jul 19 '22

This is hilarious. Charging for what can be solved with a $1 switch.

2

u/NoiceMango Jul 19 '22

At this point don't even buy the car.

2

u/Random_Brit_ Jul 19 '22

I can already predict how this will end. I'm not going to say it, but if BMW want to kill the grey market hackers they can easily do it. Decision lays with BMW.

I have a suspicion BMW don't actually mind enthusiasts "hacking" cars because "hacking" a BMW is normally an absolute piece of cake in comparison to MB/VAG

2

u/Notworthanytime Jul 19 '22

Best option is to simply boycott them until they roll this back. Hacking it may get you what you want, but it does little to incentivize them to undo it.

2

u/Inkompetent Jul 19 '22

This. The ONLY language these corporations talk is money. They don't give a fuck what people do with their product AFTER it's been sold. They will care a lot if it never sells at all though.

2

u/CombatConrad Jul 19 '22

Coming in 2025, a 1980’s pay phone style toilet in your own house.

2

u/MrTreize78 Jul 19 '22

They’re basically asking for people to download illegal software to bypass this idiocy.

2

u/wjw75 Jul 19 '22

They've been at it for years. A few years ago, even though my car came with all the necessary bluetooth hardware, I found out it couldn't play music over A2DP - because BMW tried separating that feature out as part of an extra called "enhanced bluetooth", available as a cost-option.

It was relatively straightforward to enable this by recoding the name of the head unit...I hope they fail again with this shit.

2

u/McFeely_Smackup Jul 19 '22

BMW has always charged for heated seats.

this is manufactured outrage.

2

u/readonlyy Jul 19 '22

I don’t get why BMW would damage their brand like this. They’re supposed to be a luxury brand but they’re acting like PayDay Loans. They’ll lose more in future sales than they have to gain from this stupid money grab.

2

u/gain3447 Jul 19 '22

Perhaps you should look at a Honda or Toyota….

2

u/Apprehensive-Pay3719 Jul 19 '22

They’re not hacker the correct term is tuners.bimmer tools and MHD can control so many features it’s insane

2

u/No-Chef-7049 Jul 19 '22

I don’t understand how they can justify this. Heated seats are already a feature. What reason could the have to charge suddenly? Besides greed

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u/Consistent-Work338 Jul 20 '22

Another customer of Boston Consulting Group? It would appear so.

2

u/clickwir Jul 20 '22

The better way to solve this problem...

DON'T BUY CARS THAT DO CRAP LIKE THIS

2

u/Heres_your_sign Jul 20 '22

If Congress was functional, we could have passed legislation defining ownership.

If I purchased the seat heater hardware, it's mine to do with as I please. I've done nothing illegal by activating it via another method.

I've also done nothing illegal (yet) by disabling the car's ability to phone home and check if the seat heaters are "authorized".

2

u/dj_joeev Jul 20 '22

It all started with the printer companies not letting you use your printer because you don't have all the colors

2

u/phormix Jul 20 '22

I'm totally ok with car manufacturers charging a reasonable fee for something which they provide ongoing value to, such as tracking services, remote status, map updates, or possibly head unit software updates beyond a certain date. Those require ongoing development and active servers etc.

Charging a few for a feature which they don't provide an ongoing contribution to, or moving existing functionality "to the cloud" and then killing off the local equivalent (key fob remote start) pisses me off.

2

u/International_Sun155 Jul 20 '22

Blows my mind these big tech companies try stunts like this almost oblivious to the fact someone can/will hack it. Especially when it’s something stupid like this.

2

u/Mofoman3019 Jul 20 '22

Fuck 'As a Service'
You buy the car, pay to use the bits you paid for and if they break you pay to fix them. Absolute racket.