Ford Authority

U.S. Rep Wants Ford, Rivals To Keep AM Radio In Cars

In recent months, much ado has been made about the fact that more than one automaker is removing AM radio functionality from new vehicles, a list that includes Ford. Thus far, The Blue Oval has removed AM radio from the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning and the all-new, forthcoming 2024 Ford Mustang, while also recently admitting that more models will likely follow suit. Other automakers have claimed that AM radio can cause electromagnetic interference (EMI) with the drivetrains present in all-electric vehicles, while FoMoCo points to the fact that AM radio broadcasts can now be streamed via mobile apps, FM, digital sources, and satellite radio. This change has prompted concerns from a number of consumers and lawmakers alike, however, a list that includes U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey.

Gottheimer recently sent a letter to a handful of automakers – including Ford – addressing his concerns and asking those companies to consider keeping AM radio in vehicles moving forward.

“During the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Sandy, AM radio proved to be a crucial lifeline for those affected,” Gottheimer wrote. “On 9/11, AM radio played a critical role in providing information about the horrific tragedy to those who were unable to access other communication channels due to damaged infrastructure and downed cell service. During Hurricane Sandy, AM radio was used to broadcast emergency updates and evacuation orders to people who were affected by the storm. It was also used to spread critical information about relief efforts and post- storm recovery efforts. The importance of AM radio during these large-scale emergencies cannot be underestimated, saving lives and keeping our communities informed.”

In addition to these letters, Gottheimer is also calling for federal investments in backup power and infrastructure to ensure that AM radio stations remain safe and intact during national emergencies, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to add AM radio to the list of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which would require that all automakers include AM radio as a standard feature in new vehicles.

We’ll have more on Ford’s shift away from AM radio soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. crabbymilton

    I don’t like the idea of the AM option potentially going the way of the the squarer wheel and 8 track but I hate the idea of government mandates more. Because of such mandates is the reason why cars are more costly. Airbags are the one that comes to mind.

    1. Samurai

      Ok, but airbags save lives though.

    2. Niklas E

      The airbag government mandate was for adding a feature that was not available in previous vehicles. The proposed mandate for AM radio is about keeping a vehicle feature that was taken away.

  2. Crabbymilton

    They do indeed. But some were trying to get the builders to get rid of them because they thought they posed a danger. Can’t win. But this AM radio business has the potential to parallel that stupid idea to give away free converter boxes for people who were too cheap to buy a new TV. People demand free stuff and improvements but get indignant when prices increase because of it.

    1. Niklas E

      Free TV converter boxes was not a dumb idea. In case you did not know, it was the government that decided to upgrade the broadcast standard. Why should consumers who own analog TV’s have to pay for someone else’s decision? Has nothing to do with being cheap. Furthermore, nobody was required to order a converter box if you didn’t want to. It was an optional program. At the time when digital TV was getting started, most programming was still getting produced in standard definition analog, so the quality would be the same for viewers who used converter boxes connected to analog TV’s.

  3. onewhosayswhatothersthink

    Sorry Crabby, but AM radio is not going the way of the 8 track. It’s still a vibrant format for sports, talk radio and local news. Many of the FM station’s studios are not even in the town that they are broadcasting in. The fact of the shear numbers of ads on AM in larger markets should tell you something. Actually, I do stream AM radio when I am on the road, but as soon as I am within range of the broadcast, I switch over – it’s nice to go between 2 different sports talk shows when one station is playing 5 minutes of men’s health commercials. Ford is not only being lazy on this, but I think that they have underestimated the importance of this to consumers. I hereby authorize Ford Authority to give my email address to a confirmed Ford rep for the purpose of proving that I will buy a 2024 Mustang only if it comes with AM radio.

  4. crabbymilton

    Like I said, it’s way too soon to discontinue the AM option if at all. But should be based on market demand not some govt. mandate.

  5. Greg

    Lets be factually correct, AM radio does not interfere with the EV powertrain, the EV powertrain interferes with the AM band reception.

    1. Chuck H.

      AM Radio has always been the band for Civil Defense. We should not forget this and not do away with the AM Band.

    2. Mike says...

      Funny but true…. AM radio has many benefits that should not be discarded just for the economic convenience of Ford et al.
      We can put a man on the moon but cannot solve ‘claimed radio interference’… give me a break and stop with the B.S. already.

  6. Roger Blose

    Could this be the new Ford Woke 1.0? Conservative talk radio is mostly on the AM band. Wait till folks buy a new Ford and find out that this feature is de-contented. Maybe Weather Tech will offer a windshield attachment to hold a small AM radio for Ford vehicles. And the new s650 Mustang is all ICE just like the current S550 so no interference going forward.

    1. Mike says...

      Your comments are stupid and you are way of track as to what the story is about.

    2. crabbymilton

      If a future vehicle that I will purchase does not have an AM radio, no problem, I’ll just listen to my conservative news/talk programs via my phone and pipe it in to the speakers via BLUETOOTH. Or, take a portable receiver along and plug into the AUX jack. Again, I don’t like the idea of the AM option going away someday. However, if radio program is popular enough, it will survive regardless of the platform it will be transmitted from.

    3. ArtG

      What are you talking about? Tesla dropped AM radios in 2018. Musk is hardly “woke.” And why single out Ford? “Tesla took AM radio out of its vehicles in 2018 and now Ford is following suit, along with Audi, Porsche, Volvo and Volkswagen.”

      1. Niklas E

        Tesla had a very small market share. Still does. That is why you did not hear much about no AM radios in Teslas. The European brands you mention also have very small sales in the USA compared to Ford. Also, there are not many AM stations in Europe unlike the USA which has 4,465 AM stations not including local Travelers’ Information Stations.

  7. James

    Sherman tank was once useful too. More than likely it will end in government blackmail. Like I have said before the people that want Am, make it an option and have them pay for it and give me a discount

    1. Niklas E

      Your discount would be about $5 because that would be the cost of AM chips and transistors.


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