Ford is offering a software update for all of its electric vehicles that do not have AM radio capacity after its announcement last year that it would be dropping the legacy band from its cars and trucks.
"For any owners of Ford EVs without AM broadcast capability, we'll offer a software update," Ford CEO Jim Farley told Inside Radio, adding that the company is already offering the update and that it will continue to come up in stages across the United States.
Ford Director of Technology Communications Alan Hall commented that customers may get the update at different times.
The company has not said how many vehicles will be updated, but Hall commented that the only models without AM were Ford's 2023 Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning electric pickups, which had both included AM as a standard feature in its 2021 and 2022 models.
However, data collected from vehicles showed fewer than 5% of customers were tuning in to AM radio.
Farley commented that Ford decided last year to include AM on its 2024 Ford and Lincoln lineup after the company spoke with policy leaders about the importance of AM radio as part of the emergency alert system.
However, the company is not announcing plans yet for future years, as it does not comment publicly on future model plans.
Some companies are saying they will keep AM radio in their cars, including Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Mitsubishi, and Honda said it will keep AM and FM in the EVs, which were co-developed with General Motors.
Mazda, Tesla, and Volkswagen all say they will not reintroduce AM to their EVs, and Toyota said its current models have AM, but electromagnetic interference in vehicle batteries is keeping them from committing to keeping the band in the future.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are pushing to make AM radio mandatory in vehicles, with support for a law requiring the band growing in Congress. In addition to the emergency broadcast capabilities, many conservative voices are still heard on AM radio.
If the law passes, the Department of Transportation will rule that AM be accessible in all motor vehicles sold, made, or imported into the United States, and the Government Accountability Office would be tasked to study if there are alternative communication systems that could be used for alerting the public in the case of emergencies.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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