After pressure from Washington, Ford scraps plan to remove AM radio from its cars

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Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Jim Farley on Tuesday said the auto maker has reversed course after not including broadcast AM radio in its electric vehicles and making plans to remove it from most new gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2024.

“After speaking with policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcast radio as a part of the emergency alert system, we’ve decided to include it on all 2024 @Ford & @LincolnMotorCo vehicles. For any owners of Ford EVs without AM broadcast capability, we’ll offer a software update,” Farley tweeted.

Last week, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and other U.S. lawmakers rolled out a bipartisan bill that would require car companies to have AM radio in their new vehicles, pushing against the growing trend of EVs getting made without that feature. Auto makers have said AM signals are subject to interference from EV motors.

See: Elon Musk ‘can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas’: Democrats and Republicans agree AM should go in EVs

On Tuesday, Markey praised Ford for “tuning into the concerns of millions of listeners, thousands of broadcasters and countless emergency management officials who have called for automakers to keep AM radio in their vehicles.”

“Ford’s reversal reflects an overdue realization about the importance of AM radio, but too many auto makers are still going the wrong direction. Congress must pass my AM for Every Vehicle Act to maintain access to AM radio for years to come,” Markey said in a statement.

The Democratic senator said in March that eight car makers — out of 20 that the senator contacted — told him they have removed broadcast AM radio from their EVs. The eight were BMW

and Volvo

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Tuesday that the panel plans to hold a hearing in early June “on the importance of AM radio installation in new cars.”

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