A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that would require carmakers to include AM radio in their vehicles.
Senators Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, co-sponsored the bill, which would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a rule requiring auto manufacturers to maintain AM radio at no extra charge to the buyer.
Some carmakers, including Ford, have eliminated AM in their electric vehicles because they say it can create interference leading to signal fading and buzzing noise. Others, including Toyota, still include AM in their models, though Toyota has said it’s a challenge to do so.
But AM proponents say the feature is needed in case of emergency broadcasts because AM is more reliable than other technologies. They’ve implored lawmakers and the Transportation Department to take action on the matter.
Markey told Reuters news service that at least eight automakers have eliminated AM from their EVs.
The bill would also require manufacturers that sell models without AM before the effective date of the bill if it passes to inform buyers of that fact.
Lastly, it would direct the Government Accountability Office to study whether any other communication systems could replicate AM’s reach and effectiveness in alerting the public to emergencies.
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today