Help Save AM Radio In Your Car!

Written By: Jerry Reynolds | May 23, 2023 7:00:00 PM

Write your Congressman and Senators and tell them you want to save your AM frequency!  When weather turns bad, for traffic reports, and even in the case of world events, you turn to AM radio.  AM radio is the home of the Emergency Broadcast Network to warn you of things you need to know.

Some automakers want to try to save a few bucks and eliminate AM radio.  I say that is crap.  Don’t eliminate my choice!  If I want to listen to AM, let me.  If not, I don’t have to, but this is America and I want to decide.

Many of you listen to the CarPro Show on AM, and generally you can go to the FM HD2 side and get us, but WHY ELIMINATE AM?  Let your elected officials know you want a CHOICE!    Here is what is going on. 

Ford Reverses Decision to Ditch AM Radio

First, I offer my applause to Ford, which is reversing a previously reported decision to ditch AM radio in most gas-powered and electric 2024 model-year vehicles (excluding commercial vehicles).   Tuesday's announcement via Twitter from Ford CEO Jim Farley follows the recent introduction of legislation, the AM For Every Vehicle Act, that would require automakers to include AM radio in vehicles. Ford says it will also offer a software update for EVs without AM broadcast capability. 
 Let's hope other automakers who have abandoned or are considering abandoning AM will follow suit. 

AM for Every Vehicle Act

Last week, a bipartisan coalition in the United States Congress introduced the AM for Every Vehicle Act legislation would require federal regulators to mandate AM radio in new vehicles without an additional charge.

The Act, introduced by Senators Ed Markey (MA), Ted Cruz (TX), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Deb Fischer (NE), Ben Ray Luján (NM) and J.D. Vance (OH), and Reps. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Bruce Westerman (AR-4), Tom Kean, Jr. (NJ-7), Rob Menendez (NJ-8) and Mariya Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-3),  is designed to ensure that automakers maintain access to AM broadcast radio in their vehicles.

According to a press release,  the legislation would:

  • Direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge;
  • Require any automaker that sells vehicles without access to AM broadcast radio before the effective date of the NHTSA regulation to clearly disclose to consumers that the vehicle lacks access to AM broadcast radio; and
  • Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study whether alternative communication systems could fully replicate the reach and effectiveness of AM broadcast radio for alerting the public to emergencies.

Both the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington have expressed support for the Act.  The move follows carmakers, including BMW, Ford, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo, removing AM radio from their electric vehicles, according to a press release shared in March by U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass).

“For decades, free AM broadcast radio has been an essential tool in emergencies, a crucial part of our diverse media ecosystem, and an irreplaceable source for news, weather, sports, and entertainment for tens of millions of listeners,” said Senator Markey. “Carmakers shouldn’t tune out AM radio in new vehicles or put it behind a costly digital paywall. I am proud to introduce the AM for Every Vehicle Act to ensure that this resilient and popular communication tool does not become a relic of the past.”

“Each day, millions of Americans turn to AM radio to stay up to date on life in their community, engage on the issues they care about, or to be simply entertained during rush hour,” said Senator Cruz. “AM radio is a critical bulwark for democracy, providing a platform for alternative viewpoints and the ability for elected officials to share our efforts with our constituents. Congress should act swiftly to pass this bill so Americans retain access to news, music, talk, and emergency alerts on the public airwaves. I’m glad to work with Senator Markey on this bipartisan legislation to ensure carmakers do not limit Texans’ access to radio in their vehicles.”

National Association of Broadcasters President Curtis LeGeyt is sharing support for the proposed legislation, “NAB commends Sens. Markey, Cruz, Baldwin, Fischer, Luján and Vance, and Reps. Gottheimer, Westerman, Kean, Menendez and Gluesenkamp Perez, for their leadership in advocating for AM radio listeners. This legislation ensures that the tens of million Americans who depend on AM radio for news, entertainment and critical safety information each month can continue to have access to this reliable communications medium. As the backbone of the Emergency Alert System, AM radio is instrumental in promptly disseminating vital information across all mediums during crises, ensuring that communities remain safe and well-informed. America’s local broadcasters applaud the bill’s authors and supporters for recognizing AM radio’s critical role in our nation’s public safety infrastructure.”

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has launched a "Depend on AM Radio" campaign to save AM Radio.
“With a monthly audience of 82 million Americans, AM radio is a cornerstone of everyday life for many that also serves a critical, life-saving function during extreme weather and natural disasters,” said NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “Implementing cost cutting measures at the expense of our nation’s emergency communications abilities is reckless and will have dire consequences for Americans that rely on AM radio in times of crisis. NAB’s ‘Depend on AM Radio’ campaign will elevate the voices of listeners who depend on AM radio and share opposition to removing the medium with automakers and members of Congress.”
Join the NAB campaign below:
Tell Legislators Why You Depend on AM Radio→

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