Home » Updating Your BMW On A Hill? That’s Going To Cost You: COTD

Updating Your BMW On A Hill? That’s Going To Cost You: COTD


BMW has been popping up in the news quite a lot lately for absolutely daft reasons. In 2022, the automaker infamously caught the ire of the internet for selling subscriptions on parts that were already installed to purchased vehicles. Even Dacia got in on it, roasting BMW over its heated seat subscription by offering its customers free hot water bottles, whatever those are. Thankfully, Americans don’t have to like, subscribe, and hit that bell icon for a warm butt, but they do for some other features.

Now, we find out that for your BMW i4 to perform an over-the-air software update, the vehicle has to be level. Our readers went straight to the comments with jokes.

Reader MP81 kicked off a thread by saying:

Clearly the OP didn’t subscribe to the feature that allows for OTA updates to be installed on unlevel surfaces.

And mdharrell drove it home with this COTD-winner of a banger:

You mean the optional up grade upgrade?

Sid Bridge lobbed a giggle generator of his own:

Great. Another slanted article about BMW.

In reality, this makes sense when you think about it. Should the update go downhill for some reason, there’s an extra layer of safety in having the vehicle on level ground. It seems that this is what we may have to expect as cars continue their march towards being laptops with wheels. Still, I can’t stop laughing at these jokes.

(Top Photo: BMW, The Autopian, and Mattias Hill)

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11 Responses

  1. BMW’s vehicles have been on a downhill trend since Bangle got involved as far as my interest in them is concerned. No amount of UPdates can alter the course of my opinion on subscribing to their rolling software vehicles.

  2. Like it or not, Taco Bell also sells taco subscriptions…. They’ve been doing this since their inception. Your taco subscription lasts for, at best, two hours, before it finds a way to evict itself from its temporary tenant.

  3. We have Adobe to thank for the start of the ridiculous subscription plans.

    Adobe was under the intense pressure from the shareholders to deal with the less-than-stellar revenues. Its software packages (Creative Cloud, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.) were the world’s most pirated and hacked. In order to combat the software piracy and recover the revenue, Adobe switched from one-time purchase to subscription plans. Prior to the subscription plans, the users could decide whether to retain whatever versions they had or upgrade to the newer versions whenever they wanted. Now, they were royally pissed off, and the licence isn’t transferable or “rent-to-own”. If the users didn’t pay, the files they created are locked and inaccessible.

    This led to the mad rush of switching to the subscription plans amongst software developers thereafter. Now, the auto makers are on the bandwagons.

    1. Realistically, subscription plans have been a thing for much longer than Adobe – enterprise software began directly using the SaaS model around ~1999, and similar models go back to the 1960s.

      And, AFAIK, for more end-user-oriented software, Microsoft was using subscriptions with Office 365 before Adobe began the Creative Cloud model, too. (It’s just that Microsoft kept offering perpetual licenses for Office, when Adobe very quickly abandoned perpetual Creative Suite.)

      1. The thing with anything “as a service” is that it makes a great deal of sense as a business-to-business model. You can write off the subscription cost as a business expense, there are never any nasty surprises, you don’t end up working with an obsolete version for years and with physical objects a replacement in event of breakdown can be written into the service contract so your business stays “up” because downtime costs bigtime. That’s why there wasn’t an en-masse switch to GIMP by professionals when Adobe went SaaS-only.

    2. I work for a big software company in a business planning department and can confirm this is generally true. We can also thank Apple and the iPhone which led to the commoditization of software (via App store). The recurring subscription revenue is a hell of a drug. Its not all bad IMO though – the dev cycles have shortened considerably. New features/functions are pushed out every 6 months vs 3 years.

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