On Monday, December 5th, the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee advanced a bill (A4519) that prohibits motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers from requiring subscriptions for some motor vehicle features that were already factory-installed and available on the vehicle.
The legislation is intended to ensure consumers aren’t blindsided when purchasing vehicles with features already installed only to find out those features are subscription-based and not included in the sale price of the vehicle.
During the hearing, several examples were subscription-based features were discussed including manufacturers charging for heated seats, hands-free driver assistance technology and even the use of key fobs, even though the functionality was already installed in the vehicles.
Supporters of the bill say manufacturers are simply looking to create new revenue streams even though there is no additional cost to the manufacturer (since the functions are already in the vehicle that was produced) and there is no additional benefit to the consumer. In essence, car buyers are being asked to pay twice for something they already own.
The bill would exempt third parties that offer services such as satellite radio or in-vehicle Wi-Fi. If passed, the legislation would subject manufacturers or dealerships to fines of $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for subsequent offenses.