As a consumer, are you going to play this game?

seminole97

HR Legend
Jun 14, 2005
19,490
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Mercedes-Benz is the latest auto manufacturer to unveil a subscription fee to unlock perks, such as the ability to boost acceleration.

The $1,200 yearly subscription is called "Acceleration Increase" and can be found on Mercedes' online store.

"COMING SOON - Accelerate more powerfully: increase the torque and maximum output of your Mercedes-EQ," reads the description on the online store. It's available for all upcoming EQ electric models that will "improvement in acceleration of 0.8 to 1.0 seconds (0-60 MPH)."



According to The Drive, the performance improvements will only cost owners $1,200 a year. Here's what owners get:

  • Mercedes-EQ EQE 350 4MATIC (from 288 horsepower to 349 horsepower/0-60 mph from 6.0 to 5.1 seconds)
  • Mercedes-EQ EQE SUV 350 4MATIC (from 288 horsepower to 349 horsepower/0-60 mph from 6.2 to 5.2 seconds)
  • Mercedes-EQ EQS 450 4MATIC (from 355 horsepower to 443 horsepower/0-60 mph from 5.3 to 4.5 seconds)
  • Mercedes-EQ EQS SUV 4MATIC (from 355 horsepower to 443 horsepower/0-60 mph from 5.8 to 4.9 seconds)
Is it worth it? Absolutely no. Those 0-60 mph times are awful when compared to other EVs. Plus, you don't have to pay extra. This might prove that Mercedes intentionally detuned the EQ models to allow such a subscription.

This comes several months after BMW introduced the ConnectedDrive Store, a portal for existing owners can download various apps over the air to upgrade features on their vehicle, similar to how Tesla offers upgraded Autopilot subscriptions for a hefty monthly fee.

However, BMW sparked social media uproar by charging an $18 monthly subscription in some countries for owners to use heated seats already installed in the vehicle.

Subscription fees appear to be the new normal for the automotive industry to slap customers with to unlock extra technology or performance even though the vehicles already have capabilities.
 
Feb 25, 2008
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Expect this to become the norm, and yes it's laughably ridiculous.

Its one of those things that people who either have enough money that they can wipe their nose with it, or love to spend beyond their means to try to maintain a certain status will absolutely pay for though...........
 

Bonerfarts

HR Heisman
Gold Member
Nov 15, 2015
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Expect this to become the norm, and yes it's laughably ridiculous.

Its one of those things that people who either have enough money that they can wipe their nose with it, or love to spend beyond their means to try to maintain a certain status will absolutely pay for though...........
I don’t. I expect consumers to avoid this stuff like the plague and it’ll fade away.
 

RileyHawk

HR Legend
Gold Member
Aug 21, 2002
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To me, it's very similar to all the "options" American car makers had before Japanese car makers started to provide more standard features and a few option packages. The hassle of figuring out what you're getting will make it less attractive. I don't think the recurring costs will be well received either.
 

Lindemann

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Sep 26, 2022
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Not something I'm interested in. Unfortunately, I think this is where the whole IOT (internet of things) is going.

When you have your car, furnace, refrigerator, etc. on the internet, you can assume someone will use the data to sell you something. Or in this case sell you a subscription to remotely control the performance of your car.
 
Aug 23, 2022
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Who Killed Michael Hastings?​

Early in the morning on June 18, a brand new Mercedes C250 coupe was driving through the Melrose intersection on Highland Avenue in Hollywood when suddenly, out of nowhere, it sped up. According to an eye-witness, the car accelerated rapidly, bounced several times then fishtailed out of control before it slammed into a palm tree and burst into flames, ejecting its engine some 200 feet away.

A witness, Jose Rubalcalva, whose house stood adjacent to the crash, told Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks news network that no one could approach the burning car because it kept exploding. In a simulated full-frontal crash of a 2013 C250 coupe, the car doesn’t explode on impact nor does it launch its engine 200 feet.

In fact, said Nael Issa, a Mercedes Benz dealer in Long Beach, “The car has a crumble zone, so when it crashes it goes in like an accordion. And in some cases the engine drops down, so it doesn’t go into you.”

The driver in the fatal crash was Michael Hastings, a 33-year-old crack investigative reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, whose June 2010 article, “The Runaway General,” exposed the behind-the-scenes failure of top U.S. General Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan—and, even more damagingly, revealed McChrystal’s mocking attitude toward the Obama administration, which ultimately led to the general’s resignation.

Four months after Hastings’s so-called accident, and despite scant coverage in the mainstream media, new facts and evidence continue to emerge raising serious unanswered questions about whether the journalist was assassinated, the breadth of unconventional cyber-techniques that may have been used, and who might have been responsible.

Threats, Fears and Lies

In Hastings’s 2012 book, “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” Hastings wrote about being approached by one of Gen. McChrystal’s aides. “We’ll hunt you down and kill you if we don’t like what you write,” said the unnamed aide, who afterwards apologized to Hastings for his remarks.

Hastings later wrote, “I wasn’t disturbed by the claim. Whenever I’d been reporting around groups of dudes whose job it was to kill people, one of them would usually mention that they were going to kill me.”

But never did those fears escalate the way they did during the final days and moments of Hastings’s life.

L.A. Weekly interviewed Hastings’s neighbor, Jordanna Thigpen, who said Hastings was convinced that he was a target of surveillance after reading about the Department of Justice’s seizure of AP phone records in May. He became even more wary, she said, when details about the NSA’s domestic spying programs emerged in early June through former contractor Edward Snowden.

“He was scared, and he wanted to leave town,” Thigpen said.

The night of his death, Hastings had contacted Wikileaks attorney Jennifer Robinson and sent an email to his colleagues at the news site BuzzFeed, saying he was working on a big story and was “going off the rada[r],” citing fears over federal authorities interviewing his friends. Hastings blind-copied his friend, the Staff Sgt. Joe Biggs, whom Hastings had known from his time embedded in Afghanistan.

According to L.A. Weekly, just hours before the deadly crash Hastings had asked to borrow his neighbor’s Volvo because he suspected his own car’s computer system had been hacked.

The Los Angeles Police Department said repeatedly it suspects no foul play. Questioned after Hastings’s death, the FBI confirmed that the journalist was not under any investigation.

But those statements were directly contradicted in September when redacted FBI documents surfaced following a Freedom of Information Act request by the news network Al Jazeera, which showed that Hastings was in fact under investigation for a story in which he had interviewed a U.S. soldier who had been captured in Afghanistan.

Is This What Cyber-Assassination Looks Like?

In an era of unsanctioned drone warfare—where a man operating a joystick in New Mexico can carry out the remote-controlled assassination of any person worldwide who shows up on the President’s “kill list”—it may not be far-fetched to imagine that similar capabilities, and techniques, are being employed closer to home.

Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism chief under both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, told the Huffington Post that Hastings’s crash looked “consistent with a car cyber attack.”

What did he mean? According to Stefan Savage, a computer science professor at the University of California, San Diego, any modern vehicle’s computer system made by any manufacturer can be hacked.

In a phone interview with Occupy.com, Savage described a series of experiments that he and his team conducted, in which they remotely hacked a car’s computer systems. “If you’re talking about where people have arbitrary control of a car, that takes a significant amount of time,” Savage said. “If you want to take it over and break it, that’s less complicated.”

Savage explained that all computers in a car are connected to one another, bridged by one component and compromised by that same component. As a result, he said, “We could listen to conversations in the car, and could take over everything in the drivetrain, like acceleration and brakes, through a cellular network.”

In terms of range and power to manipulate a vehicle remotely, he said, “We found vulnerabilities from 1,000 miles away.”

After the successful experiments were reported, Savage noted a huge response from manufacturers that spurred new innovations in cybersecurity for car computer systems. “They’ve spent millions of dollars on hiring new people, and acknowledged that [cybersecurity] is something they need to take seriously,” he said.

Hastings’s last article, published on BuzzFeed, exposed Democratic Party leaders including President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin for their support of the same domestic spying programs they had criticized during the Bush years, but which they worked to expand under the Obama administration.

 

Bank of Hawk

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Feb 24, 2007
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Various other industries going to subscription models. Microsoft as an example. I think companies feel it provides more consistent revenue flow allowing higher ups to plan better.
 
Feb 9, 2013
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Various other industries going to subscription models. Microsoft as an example. I think companies feel it provides more consistent revenue flow allowing higher ups to plan better.
Yeah, but aren’t those other industries offering a subscription model in lieu of a straight purchase? Vs here, where you buy the car then have to pay extra to enable many of the features.
 

Jimmy McGill

HR Legend
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Sep 9, 2018
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Earth
I'd rather have one of these.

kc1212-140491_1@2x.jpg
 

OILCHECKER

HR Heisman
Oct 12, 2001
7,858
5,059
113
My Subaru came with a three year starlink subscription. I just had to renew it only for the fact I want to be able to remote start my vehicle. Without the subscription, that is a no go. I use no other features that come with the subscription but in Iowa, I don't think I would own or buy another vehicle that doesn't have a remote start option
 
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Herky T Hawk

HR Heisman
Feb 5, 2003
6,406
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Various other industries going to subscription models. Microsoft as an example. I think companies feel it provides more consistent revenue flow allowing higher ups to plan better.
It makes sense for B2B companies to do subscription models. A lot of their customers want to avoid CapEx and subscriptions are OpEx.

Consumers don’t have a stock price that they have to keep high and growth targets to hit every year. B2C businesses may struggle trying to switch purchasing habits if there isn’t a clear value in doing so. Some, like streaming music or video subscriptions make sense in the value offer as people want access to a lot of content without buying it outright. Others won’t make sense.
 

Chuck C

HR Heisman
Mar 6, 2011
8,348
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Mercedes-Benz is the latest auto manufacturer to unveil a subscription fee to unlock perks, such as the ability to boost acceleration.

The $1,200 yearly subscription is called "Acceleration Increase" and can be found on Mercedes' online store.

"COMING SOON - Accelerate more powerfully: increase the torque and maximum output of your Mercedes-EQ," reads the description on the online store. It's available for all upcoming EQ electric models that will "improvement in acceleration of 0.8 to 1.0 seconds (0-60 MPH)."




According to The Drive, the performance improvements will only cost owners $1,200 a year. Here's what owners get:

  • Mercedes-EQ EQE 350 4MATIC (from 288 horsepower to 349 horsepower/0-60 mph from 6.0 to 5.1 seconds)
  • Mercedes-EQ EQE SUV 350 4MATIC (from 288 horsepower to 349 horsepower/0-60 mph from 6.2 to 5.2 seconds)
  • Mercedes-EQ EQS 450 4MATIC (from 355 horsepower to 443 horsepower/0-60 mph from 5.3 to 4.5 seconds)
  • Mercedes-EQ EQS SUV 4MATIC (from 355 horsepower to 443 horsepower/0-60 mph from 5.8 to 4.9 seconds)
Is it worth it? Absolutely no. Those 0-60 mph times are awful when compared to other EVs. Plus, you don't have to pay extra. This might prove that Mercedes intentionally detuned the EQ models to allow such a subscription.

This comes several months after BMW introduced the ConnectedDrive Store, a portal for existing owners can download various apps over the air to upgrade features on their vehicle, similar to how Tesla offers upgraded Autopilot subscriptions for a hefty monthly fee.

However, BMW sparked social media uproar by charging an $18 monthly subscription in some countries for owners to use heated seats already installed in the vehicle.

Subscription fees appear to be the new normal for the automotive industry to slap customers with to unlock extra technology or performance even though the vehicles already have capabilities.
I have a new 2022 Ford Bronco. You can buy a Forscan cable off the internet, hook your Bronco to a laptop and change/enable certain settings that are only available with higher trim packages. “Goat” modes, that essentially change gear ratios, allowing for faster acceleration.
 

blhawk

HR Heisman
Oct 30, 2001
5,998
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Buying any German automobile is a game of roulette I'm not interested in playing. Planned obsolescence garbage
 

BioHawk

HR Legend
Sep 21, 2005
39,768
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Well, first, there is no way I would ever pay for a feature on a car that I almost certainly already paid for when I bought the car in the first place. However, I'm pretty sure that it will take all of a few hours for someone to hack the vehicle and figure out a work around to obtaining these features without the monthly charge.

But ultimately, this is a concept that will keep me from even considering buying a vehicle from that manufacturer.
 

seminole97

HR Legend
Jun 14, 2005
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Agree that if I’m going to pay $75k for a luxury car, there better not be any recurring fees.
I can understand situations where subscriptions make sense, if it is paying for continuing service (e.g. entertainment content that is continually created, software updates that require paying somebody to keep monkeying with the code, etc)
Paying an extra $100 to the car manufacturer every month so that my cars runs like it already can without any changes administered is absurdity squared.
 

Hawk and Awe

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Sep 15, 2012
5,823
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So it’s ok to sell separate options, but having them with the convenience to turn them off and on is problematic? I guess all of you had max speed on your internet? Unlimited heat? Flat fee for groceries?

I don’t see how customization is a bad thing unless they jack up the rates after you’re locked in. To me it’s just a different, more flexible, way to pay for an outrageously expensive car that anyone bitching about being nickeled and dimed shouldn’t be buying
 

B1GDeal

HR Heisman
Jan 21, 2005
7,573
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I don’t pay the monthly Mercedes membership to get remote start. It’s just dumb to pay for that when the car is already capable. Toyota has also gone this route to get remote start via the app.
 

Huey Grey

HR King
Jan 15, 2013
50,364
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So it’s ok to sell separate options, but having them with the convenience to turn them off and on is problematic? I guess all of you had max speed on your internet? Unlimited heat? Flat fee for groceries?

I don’t see how customization is a bad thing unless they jack up the rates after you’re locked in. To me it’s just a different, more flexible, way to pay for an outrageously expensive car that anyone bitching about being nickeled and dimed shouldn’t be buying
My bottled water point is already being proven correct.
 
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seminole97

HR Legend
Jun 14, 2005
19,490
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So it’s ok to sell separate options, but having them with the convenience to turn them off and on is problematic? I guess all of you had max speed on your internet? Unlimited heat? Flat fee for groceries?
Speeds are limited on the internet because bandwidth is constrained and thus scarce.
How does that apply to the acceleration rate this car is capable of achieving? The scarcity is contrived by them deliberately detuning the car unless you pay $100/mo into perpetuity.

Heat requires an energy source and energy is scarce. This is more akin to them telling you that your car has a heater, but you can only turn it above 60’ if you pay a monthly fee. Forever. They’re not providing you anything you didn’t already pay for before the fee.

Groceries, again your attempt at analogy breaks down because there is genuine scarcity in groceries. There is no scarcity equivalent in them letting your electric motor access more of your battery’s stored energy that you paid for.

Keep searching for an analogy, and let me know when you hit on one that doesn’t involve scarcity.
 

JupiterHawk

HR Legend
Jan 6, 2005
16,449
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Only if I’m forced to. I will actively avoid any auto with subscription BS.
I guess we can originally blame EA for this and their damn video games. Of course, Tesla is charging 6k for, auto drive, something that is already built into their car. I never imagined acceleration being a freaken subscription., Talk about a governor on steroids.
 

pjhawk

HR Legend
Oct 13, 2001
17,342
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Various other industries going to subscription models. Microsoft as an example. I think companies feel it provides more consistent revenue flow allowing higher ups to plan better.
It's rent seeking by those that think they have the market power/concentration to get away with it. It's bullshit.
 
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Hawk_4shur

HR Legend
Jan 2, 2009
16,304
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The consumer has always paid extra for options. I don't see why this is any different.
 

HawkinK.C.1

HR MVP
Jun 20, 2013
1,477
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I don't subscribe to anything. I won't even sign up for the car payment itself. No way I would consider this.
 

Huey Grey

HR King
Jan 15, 2013
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It's like buying a house and the previous owner says, "I'll give you the key to unlock the third bedroom if you pay me rent every month."

I can't believe people are ok with this.