Ford Motor Company announced Tuesday that it would keep AM radios in its new vehicles after pushback from consumers.
The company previously planned to remove the option from future cars in an effort many believed would hurt American free speech.
CONSERVATIVES STAND UP | FORD TO KEEP AM RADIO IN CARS https://t.co/mrMWSH2l7Z
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) May 23, 2023
"After speaking with policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcast radio as a part of the emergency alert system, we've decided to include it on all 2024 [Ford] & [Lincoln] vehicles," wrote CEO Jim Farley on Twitter. "For any owners of Ford EVs without AM broadcast capability, we'll offer a software update."
"Customers can currently listen to AM radio content in a variety of ways in our vehicles – including via streaming – and we will continue to innovate to deliver even better in-vehicle entertainment and emergency notification options in the future," he continued. "Thanks to our product development and manufacturing teams for their quick response to make this change for our customers."
"NAB commends @Ford for committing to keep AM radio in their vehicles, which will keep Americans safe and informed, particularly in times of emergency. " #DependOnAM
Our full statement: https://t.co/kbed5cMbmy https://t.co/Vpo222GSEU
— National Association of Broadcasters (@nabtweets) May 23, 2023
The National Association of Broadcasters commended Ford's move in a statement released after the carmaker's announcement.
"NAB commends Ford for committing to keep AM radio in their vehicles, which will keep Americans safe and informed, particularly in times of emergency. With tens of millions of listeners, AM radio continues to serve as a vital lifeline to the public and a critical source of community news and exchange of diverse ideas," its statement read.
"In light of Ford's announcement, NAB urges other automakers who have removed AM radio from their vehicles to follow Ford's lead and restore this technology in the interest of listeners and public safety," it added.
The AM radio issue was addressed in letters from over 100 bipartisan lawmakers in an effort to keep the option open for American broadcasters.
Ford's response showed a willingness to listen to lawmakers and its customer base as it seeks to continue its impact in the industry.
The latest change shows that many Americans continue to value the tradition of AM radio despite the many other technologies available today.