Want to connect your phone to your car? If you are a BMW driver, it is going to cost you.
The German automaker recently announced that it will start charging BMWers $80 a year for access to CarPlay, the Apple system that allows drivers to use their phones safely from behind the wheel. The feature is available on new cars that come with navigation technology.
The move is the first by a major car manufacturer to charge phone connectivity services on an annual subscription basis, according to Car and Driver. It is not yet clear whether other carmakers – who offer CarPlay and related services as a standard or optional feature – will follow suit.
CarPlay allows drivers to use voice control to activate maps, play music, make calls, send text message and perform other tasks on a connected iPhone. It is also integrated with car controls, allowing users to tap a touch screen instead.
BMW vehicles are not currently compatible with Android Auto, a similar system for Android users.
Legal Protections for Defective Vehicles
CarPlay is just one example of how technological advances are rapidly changing the way people drive. But BMW and other auto makers still have a hard time with the basics. Unfortunately, tens and hundreds of thousands of cars are recalled each year because of serious defects that could put everyone on the road at risk.
Earlier this year, for example, BMW announced that it was recalling nearly 200,000 cars because of concerns that some of them could catch fire. The company said a heating element used to keep the vehicles’ positive crankcase ventilation valves was defective and could short.
Last year, BMW recalled portable charging cords for its entire line of electric vehicles. The company said those devices could cause shocks or fires.
Fortunately, car owners and lessors in California have some important legal protections. The state’s lemon law requires a car manufacturer to perform certain repairs on vehicles while they are still under warranty. The manufacturer is required to buy the car back or replace it if repair attempts are not successful. It is ultimately the owner or lessor’s decision whether to take a buy back or a replacement vehicle.
The lemon law also requires carmakers to pick up the bill for any legal fees that a person incurs in enforcing his or her rights.
Speak with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a car owner with a defective vehicle, an experienced California lemon law attorney can help ensure that the manufacturer is made accountable.
The California lemon law attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in Southern California and across the state. Our lawyers work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to speak with a California lemon law attorney.