Ford is eliminating AM radio starting with most 2024 models, despite recent calls by former federal emergency officials and current lawmakers and regulators for carmakers to retain the feature for public safety reasons.
The AM proponents say it’s crucial for broadcasting safety alerts because it tends to stay operational despite natural disasters, extreme weather and other emergencies. Ex-Federal Emergency Management Agency officials wrote a letter to the federal transportation secretary and some congressional committees asking them to press carmakers to include AM in electric models.
Nevertheless, Ford plans to eliminate AM in both EVs and gas-powered models, except for commercial models.
EV makers have scratched AM because they say it can cause signal fading and buzzing noise because EV motors’ electromagnetic frequencies and AM signals are on the same wavelength.
Ford told the Detroit Free Press that it will offer AM through streaming options.
One industry analyst told the newspaper that the signal interference is an excuse by carmakers to cut the cost of AM and pointed out that General Motors shields its EV AM radios to eliminate interference.