(NewsReady.com) – Car makers are constantly adding new features to their vehicles and quietly removing older ones. Several companies have attempted to save money by eliminating the inclusion of AM radio receivers in their newer models. The federal government isn’t happy about this recent omission because emergency alerts still go out over AM frequencies. However, Ford has agreed to reverse its earlier decision to retire AM radios in its newer models.
Several of the most popular automobile brands, including prominent ones like BMW, Volkswagen, Mazda, and Tesla, have begun shipping new vehicles without AM radio receivers. Those manufacturers say the motors that power modern electric cars can interfere with AM reception, causing an irritating buzzing sound –- but as Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) recently said, “If Toyota and Chrysler have figured out” how to address the issues creating the interference, why can’t other car manufacturing companies like “Ford and Tesla figure out this issue” and take the proper corrective action?
The problem with scrapping AM radio is that an estimated 47 million Americans still listen to it, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses it to send emergency alerts. Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) pointed out that if the power goes off, the internet –- including streaming radio stations –- and cell phones won’t work anymore, but AM radio does. So on May 18, a bipartisan group of legislators announced the “AM For Every Vehicle Act,” which would force manufacturers to fit all vehicles with AM at no extra charge.
Now Ford, which started shipping electric vehicles without AM radio last year, has reversed its decision. The company says anyone who’s bought a 2023 model Ford EV will get a software update to enable AM on its radio, and all other vehicles will continue to have it fitted. If other car makers don’t follow their example, Congress plans to force them to.
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