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Ford, reversing course, to keep AM radio on all models

Ford Motor Co. will keep AM radio in all 2024 Ford and Lincoln models and restore it on two electric vehicles via a software update, according to CEO Jim Farley.

In a tweetFarley said the decision was made “after speaking with [U.S.] policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcast radio as a part of the emergency alert system.” The company removed AM radio from the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning and planned to discontinue it on all products moving forward.

Farley said the company would look for other ways to deliver emergency alerts in the future.

“Customers can currently listen to AM radio content in a variety of ways in our vehicles — including via streaming — and we will continue to innovate to deliver even better in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification options in the future.” he said.

Ford’s reversal comes after a bipartisan group of US lawmakers last week introduced legislation to bar automakers from eliminating AM broadcast radio on new cars and light trucks, citing safety concerns. The bill would direct NHTSA to issue regulations to mandate AM radio in new vehicles without additional charge.

US Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., one of the sponsors of the bill, on Tuesday praised Ford’s reversal.

“AM radio is more than just an essential safety feature—it’s a free, accessible source for anyone to listen to music, news, sports and entertainment,” he said in a statement. “Innovation in the automotive industry should mean more features, not fewer, for consumers. Ford’s reversal reflects an overdue realization about the importance of AM radio, but too many automakers are still going the wrong direction.”

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