Ford Motor Company reverses course after announcing its intention to stop installing radios AM in new cars. Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company, said that the company changed its mind “after talking with policy leaders about how important AM broadcast radio is as part of the emergency warning system.”
Andrew Malcolm, in his Malcolm on the Right Podcast, recently addressed the importance of AM radio.
In my youth, AM radio was everywhere. Everyone used the media, literally. The media was used by everyone, literally.
Whenever you heard the loud, irritating Emergency Broadcast System, however, all chatter ceased. Listen closely, because there was something very bad going on. It could be as bad as a Tornado.
John Phillips told me that Ford Motor Company and many other companies have decided to stop installing radios on the new electric vehicles that our president doesn’t use but that everyone else must buy.
This was one of the crass decisions made by big corporations and politicians for reasons other than customer service.
Andrew was not the only person to raise the alarm. A group of bipartisan federal legislators introduced the “AM for Every Vehicle Act” pointing out “AM’s historical role in transmitting crucial information during emergencies such as natural catastrophes, particularly to rural areas.”
Ford’s decision to reverse the bill doesn’t make it moot.
Eight of twenty major automakers, including Ford, BMW, and Tesla, have removed the band on new vehicles, according to Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass. ), one of the bill’s sponsors.
Markey wrote in a statement on Tuesday that “Ford’s decision reflects a long overdue recognition of the importance AM radio. But too many automakers continue to go the wrong way.” He said Congress must still pass the bill in order to maintain access to this band.
Ford will include the band on new models, and offer to retrofit it onto vehicles that don’t have it with a software upgrade.
Ford removed AM in the 2023 Mustang Mach-e electric pickups and F-150 Lightning after data from the vehicles revealed that less than 5 percent of customers listened, said Alan Hall. Electric interference, cost reduction and manufacturing complexity were also factors.
Hall stated that the company will also add it to the 2024 gasoline powered Mustang before it is delivered.
Farley’s complete statement on Twitter
We decided to add AM broadcast radio in all @Ford and @LincolnMotorCo cars by 2024 after speaking with leaders on the importance of it as part of an emergency alert system. Ford EV owners without AM broadcast capabilities will be offered a software upgrade.
Our customers can listen to AM content in many ways, including streaming. We will continue to innovate in order to provide even better options for in-vehicle music and emergency notifications in the future.
We would like to thank our Product Development and Manufacturing teams for their rapid response in making this change to benefit our customers.