(TechCrunch) Ford has reversed its decision to build new vehicles without AM radio after pressure from lawmakers.
CEO Jim Farley wrote in posts on Twitter and LinkedIn Tuesday that AM radio will be included on all 2024 Ford and Lincoln Motor vehicles, a decision the executive came to “after speaking with policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcast radio as part of the emergency alert system.”
Last week, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers introduced a bill calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require AM in new vehicles at no additional cost. Sponsors of the “AM for Every Vehicle Act” have argued that AM radio has historically helped transmit crucial information during emergencies, particularly to rural areas.
“I would think that if Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets to space, he can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer from New Jersey, the lead House sponsor of the bill, in a statement last week. Instead, Elon Musk and Tesla and other car manufacturers are putting public safety and emergency response at risk.”
On Tuesday, in response to Ford’s announcement to keep AM radio, Gottheimer called out Tesla again, as well as other automakers, to follow Ford’s lead and “realize how important AM radio is the backbone behind America’s National Public Warning System.”
“When the cell phone runs out, the internet gets cut off, or the television doesn’t work because of no electricity or power to your house, you can still turn on your AM radio,” he said.