Mercedes puts faster acceleration behind a subscription paywall

Mercedes puts faster acceleration behind a subscription paywall

from working-wipers-for-$50-extra-a-month debt

Back in July, BMW caused a bit of a stir when the company announced that it would make heated seats a luxury option for an additional $18 per month. Now, Mercedes aims to take the concept one step further by announcing that buyers of the company’s new Mercedes EQ electric models will have to pay a $1,200 (plus taxes and fees) annual subscription to unlock the vehicles’ full performance.

Drive points to Mercedes’ online store, where they note that buyers of the vehicle must pay a monthly subscription to unlock an “acceleration boost”:

According to Mercedes, the annual fee increases the car’s maximum horsepower and torque, while increasing overall performance. Acceleration from 0-60 mph is said to improve by 0.8-1.0 seconds, and the overall characteristics of the electric motors are also set to change. The extra performance is unlocked by selecting dynamic driving mode.

As with BMW’s vision, you’ll probably see a lot of people with more disposable income than common sense touting these kinds of things like pricing and technological innovation, mainly because they want to justify their desire to pay a giant corporation extra for what they perceive. as additional status.

The problem: you buy a vehicle with this technology (be it faster acceleration or heated seats) already in the car. The cost of that technology will always be wrapped up in the existing car’s price in some way, since no manufacturer is going to take a bath on the retail price.

So you effectively pay for the technology you already owner must be switched on. Then, as subscription costs increase over the life of the vehicle you (and other subsequent owners) own, you’re paying significantly more money for that technology than it’s worth (see: paying Comcast thousands of dollars in rental fees for a modem that cost them $50).

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The need for quarter over quarter returns at any cost opens the door to widespread nickel-and-diming in the future, putting customers on an endless treadmill where paying to turn on technology you already own becomes increasingly expensive in a way that’s just completely untethered to real costs.

These subscription services also create an arms race with hackers and modders, with the right to repair (something you already own) debate waiting on the periphery. And the FTC is watching companies like a hawk, waiting to see if automakers make it easy to activate something you already own a warranty violation.

Filed under: car, cars, electric cars, ftc, hardware, heated seats, ownership, right to repair, subscription service, warranty

Companies: mercedes

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