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HomeTechFord keeps AM radio in cars after pressure from lawmakers

Ford keeps AM radio in cars after pressure from lawmakers


Ford has reversed its decision to build new cars without AM radio after pressure from lawmakers.

CEO Jim Farley signed in to post on Twitter and LinkedIn Tuesday that AM radio will be included in all 2024 Ford and Lincoln Motor vehicles, a decision the executive reached “after consulting with policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcasting as part of the emergency warning system.”

Last week, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers introduced a bill appeal to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require AM in new vehicles at no additional cost. Sponsors of the “AM for Every Vehicle Act” have argued that AM radio has historically helped transmit critical information during emergencies, particularly to rural areas.

The law was prompted by the decision of many automakers – including Ford, Tesla, BMW, Volkswagen and Mazda – to remove AM radio from their new electric cars. The companies said electric motors can distort the sound of AM radio stations.

“I would think if Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets to space, he can afford to put AM radio in his Teslas,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, the House’s lead sponsor of the bill, in A statement last week. Instead, Elon Musk and Tesla and other automakers are endangering public safety and emergency response.”

Tuesday, in response to Ford’s announcement to preserve AM radio, Gottheimer again called on Tesla, as well as other automakers, to follow Ford’s lead and “realize the importance of AM radio as the backbone behind the U.S. National Public Warning System.”

“If the cell phone dies, the internet goes down, or the television doesn’t work because there’s no electricity or power in your house, you can still turn on your AM radio,” he said.

Ford had already removed AM from the 2023 Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning electric pickup after data from the vehicles showed that less than 5% of customers listened to them, a Ford spokesperson said. Because of the electrical interference, it just made sense to remove it from future vehicles. Ford also removed AM radio from the 2024 gas-powered Mustang, but plans to add it back in before any of the vehicles are delivered.

Farley said Ford will offer a software update today for EVs on the road without AM broadcast capabilities.

Notably, the executive did not pledge to keep AM radio in its vehicles forever. In his social media posts, Farley said Ford “will continue to innovate in the future and deliver even better options for in-vehicle entertainment and emergency alerts.”

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group representing major automakers, criticized the bill, saying the AM radio mandate was unnecessary.

“Whether or not AM radio is physically installed in vehicles has *no impact* on drivers’ ability to receive emergency alerts through multiple modes of communication available in cars being manufactured today,” the group said via tweet.

According to Nielsen datamore than 80 million people in the US listen to AM radio every month.

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