Ford to keep AM radio in cars after pressure from lawmakers
Ford reversed its decision to build new vehicles without AM radios after pressure from lawmakers.
CEO Jim Farley wrote in posts on Twitter and LinkedIn on Tuesday that AM radio will be included on all 2024 Ford and Lincoln Motor vehicles, a decision made by the executive “after speaking with political leaders about the importance of AM radio as part of the ’emergency alert’.
Last week, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers introduced a bill asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require AM in new vehicles at no additional cost. Sponsors of the “AM for Every Vehicle Act” argued that AM radio has historically helped convey crucial information during emergencies, especially in 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 the electric motors can interfere with the sound of AM radio stations.
“I think if Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets into space, he can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, the main sponsor of the bill. a statement last week. Instead, Elon Musk and Tesla and other automakers are endangering public safety and emergency response.
On Tuesday, in response to Ford’s announcement to keep AM radio, Gottheimer again called on Tesla, along with other automakers, to follow Ford’s lead and “realize how important AM radio is.” ‘Backbone of America’s National Public Warning System’.
“When the cell phone runs out, the internet is down, or the TV isn’t working due to no electricity or power in your home, you can always turn on your AM radio,” he said. declared.
Ford had already removed AM from the 2023 Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning electric pickup after vehicle data showed less than 5% of customers listened to it, a spokesperson said. from Ford. Due to electrical interference, it made sense to remove it from future vehicles. Ford has also removed the AM radio from the 2024 gasoline-powered Mustang, but plans to add it back before either vehicle is delivered.
Farley said Ford will offer a software update to electric vehicles on the road today without AM streaming capability.
In particular, the executive did not promise to keep the AM radio in his vehicles in perpetuity. In his social media posts, Farley said Ford “will continue to innovate and deliver even better in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification options in the future.”
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group that represents major automakers, criticized the bill and said the AM radio mandate was unnecessary.
“Whether or not AM radio is physically installed in vehicles has *no bearing* on the ability of drivers to receive emergency alerts via several modes of communication available in automobiles manufactured today,” said the group through Tweeter.
According to Nielsen data, more than 80 million people in the United States listen to AM radio every month.