FoMoCo caused quite the stir when it decided to ditch AM radio functionality in the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning and 2024 Ford Mustang, and later announced that it would be following suit in most all of its models, save for commercial vehicles – in both the U.S. and Canada. This move not only drew the ire of customers that still use and enjoy AM radio, but also a host of lawmakers concerned that its removal might impact emergency broadcast situations, prompting some to introduce a bill requiring automakers to retain this functionality. Last May, Ford CEO Jim Farley announced that the automaker would be retaining AM radio in its 2024 model year vehicles after all, and now, 2023 model year Ford EVs are getting that functionality back as well, according to Inside Radio.
“The software update has started to be deployed to those vehicles to configure AM Radio back on and available for customer usage,” said Alan Hall, Ford’s Director of Technology Communications. “The deployment is ongoing, and customers may receive the update at different times.”
Ford and some of its rivals previously argued that AM radio – or amplitude modulation, as it’s otherwise defined – is no longer needed thanks to the fact that users can still listen to AM music, news, and podcasts via internet streaming through mobile apps, FM, digital, and satellite radio options, but critics worry that its removal could pose a significant communication problem during emergencies, which prompted this pushback in the first place.
Regardless, 2023 model year Ford EVs – specifically, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford F-150 Lightning – are already beginning to receive this over-the-air update, which will continue to be rolled out in stages over the coming weeks. Notably, however, the automaker isn’t committing to offering this functionality in the future – at least not yet. “As a matter of policy, we don’t comment on future product plans, and will remain focused on listening to and responding to our customers’ feedback to balance the transition to new technologies,” Hall said.