Audi owner finds basic HVAC function paywalled after pressing the button for it


Audi owner finds basic HVAC function paywalled after pressing the button for it

Audi owner has to pay extra cash to get basic climate control feature on his car - are auto manufacturers that desperate for money?

There's nothing that we loathe more than a basic feature on a car that is only usable if you pay extra for it - but this supposedly blocked basic feature on an Audi due to a paywall takes the cake.

With the increasing integration of technology in modern cars, there is a trend towards reducing the number of physical buttons and controls on the dashboard and replacing them with software-based interfaces. 

2023 Audi dashboard

This leads to a more streamlined appearance on the dashboard, with fewer "blanked" buttons no matter what spec car you have. Where before we had blank blanked buttons, we now have buttons with writing on them that just do nothing. 

As an owner of Audi Q4 E-Tron found out, this can be annoying, where a blanked button is the better option. brought this to light recently where they wrote about an annoyed Audi owner who had decided not to purchase Audi's tri-zone climate control.

Audi E-Tron paywall

The feature is there, but it's not activated unless you pay for it of course, which is fine because the particular owner chose not to have it, but when you press the "Sync" button on the climate control system and a message pops out reminding you, that you haven't paid for it, it does become irritating. The EV owner said "Blank buttons aren't rude," but "this one reminds me that I'm cheap."

What makes this all worse is that in the UK and the US, this tri-zone climate control system is offered on the base trim, where as in Denmark where this particular owner is, they add-on 5,114 Kroner (around $758) to the final price of the car if you want the system.

BMW paywall Malaysia

Many automakers, such as BMW and Audi are using over-the-air updates to push feature changes on customers' cars and even promote the sale of software goods to them.

If the feature lets your car fly, fair enough, but when its got something to do with petty features like climate control, it just gets a bit too much in our opinion. 

What's the craziest feature blocked by a paywall you have heard of? Let us know in the comments.

Adam Aubrey

Adam Aubrey

Content Producer

Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler