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2022 Toyota Tundra remote start isn’t actually free

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The new 2022 Toyota Tundra comes with the ability to remote start the truck, but you’re going to have to pay for it eventually.

Most automakers have apps for their vehicles these days, and Toyota is no different. The app for the 2022 Tundra can connect your truck to your smartphone in order for you to see things such as maintenance reminders, truck status and more. It also allows you to wirelessly lock the doors and remote start the truck.

But here’s the thing, these features are in a suite of connected services including advanced navigation assistance as well as an SOS-type feature in case of a crash. After a 3-year trial, this suite has a price of $8 a month or $80 a year.

But, you might ask, doesn’t the key fob have remote start, and isn’t that free? Well, kind of, and nope.

Remote start with the key fob

If you don’t want to use the app, there is another way to remote start the truck — and you won’t find it in the owner’s manual.

All you need to do is press the lock button twice on the key fob, then press and hold the lock button until the truck turns on. This can take 5 seconds or so until the truck starts, but it does work. Remote start will run for 10 minutes before it turns off on its own.

To be clear: There is no remote start button by itself on the key fob to make this process easier. Also, it is worth pointing out, if you used remote start and unlock the truck, it will immediately turn off.

We asked Toyota if this key fob trick will work without the subscription, and the short answer is this: No.

The longer answer we got from a spokesperson:

“Remote start via key fob will be active with any Connected Service – trial or paid subscription. … The Service Connect trial is in effect for 3 years, thus the key fob start function will be active for 3 years. As we move to more digital and remote functions, remote start via key fob is not a feature we actively market nor is there an upfront cost associated.”

The bottom line on 2022 Toyota Tundra remote start

With most new vehicles, there is a lot of confusion about what worked in the past and what is new. In this case, it’s nice to see an old trick available on other Toyotas still exists. However, some clear communication from Toyota on this feature (as well as a mention in the owner’s manual) would be welcome.

The bigger issue in our minds: Remote start isn’t free. This is a huge paradigm shift, and the first time we’ve heard an automaker making this a subscription-fee-only feature. We don’t like it, and from the comments we’ve seen on the above video, you don’t like it either. Feel free to comment below or head on over to the video to leave your comments there. Should remote start remain free, or are you cool with the fact that you’ll eventually have to pay to play?

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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1 Comment

  1. Ernest Shafer December 19, 2021

    Paying to use a feature such as remote start doesnt make much sense. If there is a petition on this let us know – we will sign

    Reply

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