Ford to Discontinue AM Radios in Most New Vehicles Starting in 2024

James Farley, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Co., speaks during a lau
Emily Elconin/Bloomberg/Getty

Ford plans to drop AM radios from most of its new vehicles starting in 2024, raising concerns about public safety communication. The automaker had previously announced plans to drop the AM radio from its electric vehicles due to “interference” between the electric drive train and AM reception.

The Detroit Free Press reports that beginning in 2024, Ford will no longer offer AM radio in the majority of its newly released gas and electric-powered vehicles.

Ford Motor Company’s electric F-150 Lightning on the production line at their Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn, Michigan on September 8, 2022. (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood told the Detroit Free Press: “We are transitioning from AM radio for most new and updated 2024 models. A majority of U.S. AM stations, as well as a number of countries and automakers globally, are modernizing radio by offering internet streaming through mobile apps, FM, digital and satellite radio options. Ford will continue to offer these alternatives for customers to hear their favorite AM radio music, news and podcasts as we remove amplitude modulation — the definition of AM in this case — from most new and updated models we bring to market.”

Sherwood said that commercial vehicles will still offer AM radio despite these changes due to established contract language. Ford’s decision is in line with that of other automakers, including Volvo and German firms, which have already abandoned AM radio in their electric vehicles. For many years, Tesla, for example, hasn’t included AM radio in its all-electric vehicles.

Mike Ramsey, an analyst with Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner Research Group, commented: “In essence, EV motors generate a lot of electromagnetic interference that affects the frequencies of AM radio and make it difficult to get a clear signal. It could be shielded, but given the diminishing listening habits to AM, the automakers haven’t chosen to do it. Most of the content there is available through other means, including podcast and internet streaming. In my view, this isn’t that different from automakers discontinuing 8-track players, cassette players and CD players. Technology has advanced. The idea that it is a critical safety channel is a bit suspect given that almost all critical communication now is sent through mobile phones.”

General Motors or Chrysler parent Stellantis have not officially confirmed plans to alter AM access in their 2024 vehicles. According to GM spokesman Stuart Fowle, “We are evaluating AM radio on future vehicles and not providing any further details at this time.”

According to Stellantis spokeswoman Jodi Tinson, AM radio is still anticipated to be available in the company’s product lineup, which includes Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram.

However, leaders in the broadcast industry, radio executives, and policymakers have expressed concern about the decision to phase out AM radio. The National Association of Broadcasters’ Alex Siciliano, senior vice president for communication, emphasized the value of AM radio in emergency situations.

“There’s no question that AM radio plays a critical role in informing Americans and keeping them safe; it is the backbone of the Emergency Alert System. This is why numerous policymakers and FEMA representatives have sounded alarm bells for automakers,” Siciliano told the Free Press. “We are certain that Ford does not want to alienate the nearly 48 million Americans who listen to AM radio, and we’ll continue working closely with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and individual manufacturers to keep this important service in cars.”

Breitbart News previously reported on the removal of AM radio from electric vehicles from many brands including Ford.

Automakers such as Ford and Tesla have ditched the AM radio from their newer EV models, arguing that the motors on EVs interfere with AM frequencies, creating buzzing and signal fading, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

But former emergency officials are warning that scrapping the AM radio would mean EV drivers could miss important safety alerts.

Seven former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrators said in a Sunday letter — obtained by WSJ — to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and several congressional committees that the government should seek assurances that automakers will keep the AM radio in their vehicles.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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