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Yes, you need a subscription! Toyota Tundra remote start


Regardless of what you might have heard, the 2022 Toyota Tundra remote start won’t work unless you have a subscription. Full stop. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the app or the “secret” triple click key fob trick, remote start will stop working when your free trial or subscription lapses.

Furthermore, how much you pay and when you pay can be confusing.

The 2022 Toyota Tundra has been fully redesigned with all sorts of new features. This includes the remote start function, which is now tied to the mobile app with a subscription plan.

We spoke with Corey Proffitt, senior manager of communications with Toyota Connected North America Inc., to get the scoop.

2022 Toyota Tundra remote start on the app

First, the mobile app allows you to remote start your truck. This is a really slick way to start your truck because you aren’t limited by the range of the key fob. For example, I landed at a small airport and was able to remote start the truck from the plane on the tarmac. Granted, it shut itself off after 10 minutes and only allowed me to remote start it one more time past the first, but it was still nice to have a warmer vehicle to get into during the winter.

This feature requires a subscription to one of the three connected service plans (Service Connect, Remote Connect or Safety Connect) after a trial period runs out.

For the Tundra, this gets somewhat confusing since the Service Connect is a three-year trial while the Remote Connect and Safety Connect are one-year trials. Oh and Service Connect is not renewable.

Here is how much you can expect to pay:

  • Remote Connect is $8/month or $80/year
  • Safety Connect is $8/month or $80/year
  • Service Connect is not currently renewable as a standalone product

Remote Connect provides vehicle status alerts, last parked location, remote lock/unlock for the doors and guest driver alerts when exceeding preset speed limits, curfew or miles driven. This latter is often called a Teen Driver feature for other brands.

Safety Connect is basically like GM’s OnStar service and provides emergency assistance, hotline to 24/7 roadside assistance, automatic collision notification to a 24/7 response center and stolen vehicle locator.

Service Connect provides you with a vehicle health report, maintenance alerts and reminders.

Remote start with key fob

Now, the remote start trick with the key fob (push lock, push lock, then hold lock) is more interesting.

First, it was reported the key fob remote start was tied to the new head unit aka infotainment screen and system. It is not according to Proffitt. The key fob feature is part of the active DCM or Data Communication Module on the truck.

Second, it will not function if you do not have an active connected services subscription. It has been rumored and reported otherwise. And we’ve had multiple arguments from readers arguing with us about this.

The official statement from Toyota confirms a subscription is needed.

“Remote start from the vehicle key fob is available during any active trial period*, including Service Connect, Remote Connect or Safety Connect. Key fob remote start is a convenience feature and will remain active for the duration of any open trial period. Trial period durations vary and may last up to 10 years. As we move to more digital experiences within the Toyota app, key fob remote start is not a feature we actively market. More information specific to model trial periods can be found here: https://www.toyota.com/connected-services/

*trial period is included at no additional cost and begins on the original date of purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles. After the trial period expires, enrollment in a paid subscription is required to access the service. Terms of Use for the subscription service agreement apply.

The statement was confirmed on August 5, 2022.

With this in mind, both the key fob trick and the remote start via the app will work for a full three years from the time the vehicle was produced for free, since the Service Connect trial period lasts for three years. So, your 2022 truck should have remote start capability through 2025.

The bottom line

Simply put, this is the way Toyota is moving forward, and we expect to see this on all new models. There is no “fix” coming, and the only way around it is to find an aftermarket solution. While new owners will have three years of remote start, it’s after the three-year-period when these trucks hit the used market that will be interesting to watch.

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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. Anonymous February 9, 2023

    I was a huge loyal buyer of toyota! Never ever ever again!!!!!!

  2. Loren March 29, 2023

    Well, if you can believe it, Toyota has made this even worse! My Trial period just ended on my ’22 Tundra, 15 months after purchase. Only options are 1 of 3 packages:
    “Go Anywhere” $15/month for Drive connect and Remote Connect
    “Music Lover” $15/month for Integrated streaming and Remote Connect
    “Premium” $25/month for all 3 – Drive Connect, Remote Connect and Integrated Streaming.

    There is absolutely no need for Drive connect or integrating streaming – I have a cell phone!!! which does both of these better than Toyota can do them.

    Loved the remote start, used it daily. I was not happy, but OK with paying $80/year for the remote start, but I’m not going to pay $180/year for it.


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