EFS Consulting

Draft US Bill requires Automakers to keep AM radio

A bipartisan bill named the AM for Every Vehicle Act has been introduced in the US Senate to make it mandatory for automakers to include AM radio in their vehicles.

The draft legislation was created in response to an increasing number of vehicles put on the market without this first-generation radio broadcast technology.

AM radio has increasingly been excluded in new vehicles in the U.S., particularly for electric vehicles (EVs), due to concerns about possible interference with the EV powertrain. They argue that AM radio is outdated and suggest that alternative technologies like internet streaming, HD radio on FM bands, or certain apps can compensate for its absence. As a consequence, 8 out of 20 automakers confirmed that their electric vehicles do not have AM radio capabilities, as they are not legally required to include them.

However, this radio technology has unique characteristics that are not easily replaceable, like the ability to pass through solid objects and cover longer distances. This makes it crucial for the national Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, managed by the U.S. FEMA, which relies on AM radio stations to deliver critical safety alerts.

To address this issue, a bill has been proposed that would make it mandatory for automakers to include AM radio in their vehicles without any additional cost. If automakers choose to sell vehicles without AM radio, they would be required to inform potential customers about this omission. The bill also tasks the Government Accountability Office with identifying alternative communication methods that could match the effectiveness of AM radio for emergency alerts.

The bill is still in the early stages of the legislative process and amendments to the draft to be expected. Nevertheless, this legislation represents an initial step towards ensuring the continued accessibility and usefulness of AM radio.

The text of the regulation can be retrieved HERE.

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