Your next new car may not have AM radio
(KTEN) — A staple of your vehicle's dashboard may soon be a thing of the past.
Ford, Tesla, and BMW are among several auto manufacturers doing away with AM radio reception in their future electric vehicles.
Some lawmakers are pushing back.
The manufacturers cite AM radio interference with an electric vehicle's drive motor as the reason for dropping the option.
"if these car manufacturers are popping up now saying that, well, it's interfering with our electric vehicles and how they work, why is it now all of a sudden becoming an issue, and hasn't been an issue for the last how many, ten, 15 years that they've been making EVs?" KSEO radio station manager Jason Taylor said.
But because of its longer reach, AM radio is often used for emergency broadcasts. Some argue that losing AM radio in cars means losing access to that crucial information.
"There's a need to keep AM radios, because that's what the federal government uses to contact people," Fred Pilkilton, owner of Pilkilton Motors, said. "In other words, if an emergency happens."
U.S. lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make AM radio a requirement in cars.
While companies like BMW and Tesla are only removing AM radio reception from their electric vehicles, Ford plans to phase it out in both gas and electric models.