This week, we received news that BMW Group Malaysia has quietly updated the 3 Series and X4, finally adding some much-needed safety equipment that includes autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert. We’ve criticised the company in the past for omitting these systems, so this is definitely a welcome development.

The news, however, doesn’t seem to have sat well with current owners (especially those that bought their cars right before the update), many of which have complained – both on our site and in various owner groups – that it is unfair that new buyers will get the new features but not them.

We see this sort of behaviour time and time again, whenever there’s a facelift or, as is more often the case, when a car company introduces a running update that adds features. We saw it when Mercedes-Benz Malaysia fitted Mercedes me connect to the local range, and when Proton launched its locally-assembled 2020 X70 with a lower price and extra kit. There was even a petition asking the national carmaker to install free powered tailgates for existing X70 owners, as if anything has ever come out of a petition.

But the world doesn’t work that way. Car companies, like any other for-profit company, are there to make money first and foremost, and they will always find ways to attract new customers – be that by offering discounts or updating their models. Beyond offering a warranty, aftersales services and recalls for defective parts, they aren’t beholden to existing owners.

And of course, Malaysia isn’t the only country to have regular product updates. Manufacturers around the world do it all the time, and in the United States cars are revised every year (even if there are no facelifts or full models changes) to make them more appealing in an ultra-competitive market. Yet you don’t see entitled owners complaining or making petitions there, do you?

This, then, seems to be a behaviour endemic to Malaysia, and we think it should be stopped. We don’t complain when Apple releases a new iPhone every year, so why do we do it with cars? Yes, BMW has been frustratingly behind the curve when it comes to offering active safety systems to Malaysians, but any effort to redress the balance should nevertheless be celebrated, not vilified because some customers missed out.

Bringing out your torches and pitchforks over a new feature is selfish, and it denies other customers from receiving updates that are easily implemented on the production line (and not in the service centre, which is why a retrofit package is neither practical nor cost-effective). It’s probably the reason why the Perodua Myvi has yet to receive the latest Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) 2.0, even though we’ve been told that its implementation requires only a software change, not a hardware one.

Let’s be honest here – you bought your car knowing full well what you were paying for. Those of you who purchased a 320i, a 330i or an X4 xDrive30i before this update did so accepting what the car had and didn’t have (and ignored us lambasting BMW multiple times for not fitting AEB as standard across the range), and signed away your hard-earned cash. So why are you only complaining now when these features are being added on, saying you want them too?

Besides, those that only recently purchased the vehicles would’ve received heftier discounts that probably swayed their decision, as dealers would’ve had prior knowledge of the forthcoming update (and would usually warn buyers beforehand). Surely that should be enough recompense for missing out on these features, right?

Of course, there will be those who will also complain that bringing out updates would affect the resale values of their cars, which is a fair point. But most cars are depreciating assets, anyway – if you wanted something that would hold its value better, you would’ve bought a house.

So no, the world does not revolve around you, and actual, useful product upgrades should not come to a halt just because you feel like you got the short end of the stick. Progress is progress, so rather than airing your grievances in public, just enjoy your car the way it is – you’ll have a much better time.