Washington (June 23, 2023) - In the wake of Ford’s recent announcement that it will keep AM radio in its 2024 vehicles, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today sent a bipartisan letter to seven automakers that have either removed or plan to remove broadcast AM radio in their current and future vehicle models, including electric vehicles (EVs). The letter urges the automakers to make a commitment to keep AM radio in their vehicles.
“As you may be aware, Ford announced last month that it would maintain AM radio on all 2024 Ford and Lincoln vehicles. Amid the public outcry over some automakers removing AM radio from electric vehicles, Ford’s decision is a welcome, albeit incomplete, development. As the lead authors of the AM for Every Vehicle Act, we ask that you follow Ford’s lead and make a similar commitment to maintain broadcast AM radio in your company’s current and future vehicle models, including electric vehicles (EVs).”
“AM radio plays a critical role in the lives of millions of Americans who rely on it for local news, weather alerts, sports, music, and entertainment. It is also a prominent platform for talk radio, which is a home for a variety of viewpoints and diverse audiences, including Hispanic, Black, and other minority communities. AM radio also serves a unique role in rural and agricultural areas. In some parts of the country, especially those without broadband connectivity, AM radio is one of the public’s only choices to stay informed."
“Additionally, AM radio is a vital means of emergency communication...With forty percent of listeners tuning in from their cars, maintaining access to AM radio in vehicles is essential to ensure safety alerts can reach the public [...]"
“Preserving AM radio not only aligns with the growing recognition of its significance but also demonstrates a commitment to public safety and meeting consumer expectations. We request that you respond to this letter with a commitment to keep AM radio in all your new vehicles.”
On May 18th, Senators Markey and Cruz led a coalition of their Senate and House colleagues in introducing the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would direct federal regulators to require automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their new vehicles at no additional charge. The full text of this legislation is available HERE.
In the Senate, the bill has 20 cosponsors, including Senators Markey and Cruz, evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. In the House, the bill has 102 cosponsors, including the bill’s lead sponsors Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05) and Tom Kean, Jr. (NJ-07).
The bill is supported by a diverse group of broadcasting, public safety, and other organizations, including: