Lawmakers Propose Auto AM Radio Bill

By Staff Writer May 23, 2023

A group of U.S. senators introduced the AM for Every Vehicle Act, which is bipartisan legislation that would direct federal regulators to require automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in new vehicles at no additional charge. The legislation follows from the letter that Democratic Sen. Ed Markey sent to 20 of the world’s leading carmakers last year requesting that they maintain access to AM broadcast radio in their vehicles. Of the 20 carmakers, eight had removed AM broadcast radio from their electric vehicles. 

Specifically, the AM for Every Vehicle Act would:

  • Direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge;
  • Require any automaker that sells vehicles without access to AM broadcast radio before the effective date of the NHTSA regulation to clearly disclose to consumers that the vehicle lacks access to AM broadcast radio;
  • Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study whether alternative communication systems could fully replicate the reach and effectiveness of AM broadcast radio for alerting the public to emergencies.

“For decades, free AM broadcast radio has been an essential tool in emergencies, a crucial part of our diverse media ecosystem, and an irreplaceable source for news, weather, sports, and entertainment for tens of millions of listeners,” said Markey. “Carmakers shouldn’t tune out AM radio in new vehicles or put it behind a costly digital paywall.”

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Last modified on Friday, 26 May 2023 15:01