Ford Authority

After Ford Radio Pivot, AM Will Become Required Feature

Back in 2022, Ford began removing AM radio functionality from select models as it believed that such a feature simply wasn’t warranted anymore, given the rise of streaming services. However, this decision was met with considerable backlash – mostly from a number of lawmakers concerned about the fact that in the event of a major disaster, AM is typically the way news is delivered. Even though other automakers and lobby groups argued that AM simply isn’t necessary, Ford reversed course and added it back to models it was previously removed from before announcing that all 2024 model year vehicles would come with AM functionality as well. However, legislation requiring the presence of AM in new vehicles has been on the table for some time, and now, it appears that it will in fact take effect soon, according to Wired.

This new bill – titled the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act – was just introduced by Senator Edward Markey and already has more than enough support to ensure that it becomes a law, as 60 Senators and 246 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives are backing it. If that does indeed happen, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would be required to ensure that every new vehicle sold in the U.S. is equipped with AM radio functionality – and at no extra cost to consumers.

“Democrats and Republicans are tuning in to the millions of listeners, thousands of broadcasters, and countless emergency management officials who depend on AM radio in their vehicles,” Marky said. “AM radio is a lifeline for people in every corner of the United States to get news, sports, and local updates in times of emergencies. Our commonsense bill makes sure this fundamental, essential tool doesn’t get lost on the dial. With a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, Congress should quickly take it up and pass it.”

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According to the National Association of Broadcasters, around 82 million people listen to AM radio, but automakers have long argued that electromagnetic interference from electric motors in EVs can lead to poor audio quality, which is what prompted companies like Ford to begin removing it. Ford later noted that it was also keen to ditch AM since “by offering internet streaming through mobile apps, FM, digital, and satellite radio options,” consumers have plenty of superior choices already.

We’ll have more on 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. David Dickinson II

    This is one of the few times I’m glad to have a government regulation. AM radio is a critical, low-priced component.

  2. Yugo Bob

    Ended up buying an abandoned early build F150 Lightning when my order was built and sitting in Dearborn for months last year. The problem is this one doesnt have the AM radio; and that is 90% of my local listening. Still waiting on Ford to deliver on promise to return AM with a software download. Disappointed, but really like the Lightning.

  3. Dr. Pretorius

    I haven’t listened to an AM radio broadcast in decades. During emergencies, important notices are pushed out to our cellphones.


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