After more than a year of sitting on the legislative back burner, a bill requiring auto manufacturers to keep AM radio in vehicles may soon have the votes it needs to pass through Congress. Aptly named the AM for Every Vehicle Act, the House bill, and its companion bill in the Senate, now have the backing of 200 House lawmakers and over 40 senators. Should support for the bill reach 218 in the House and 51 in the Senate, it will have the support it needs to head to President’ Biden’s desk. That would be a significant win for American consumers who depend on AM radio for everything from traffic reports, talk radio, and sports programming, to critical news updates during weather emergencies.

First introduced last May, the AM for Every Vehicle Act is designed to address the concerning trend of auto manufacturers removing AM radio functionality from new electric vehicles (EVs). In recent years, companies like BMW, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo have begun phasing out AM radio. They say this phase-out is necessary to prevent EV motors from generating electromagnetic interference, which can distort AM radio signals. While the technology exists to fix the issue, they argue installing it is cost-prohibitive and that AM radio represents a dying medium anyway. Moreover, consumers can access the same information elsewhere such as on their phone or via internet radio. These arguments are unconvincing and fail to acknowledge the essential public safety role that AM radio continues to play in Americans’ lives.

While it may very well cost more to continue manufacturing vehicles with AM radio capabilities, it is certainly doable. Other automakers like Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Land Rover, and Mitsubishi have each committed to keeping AM radio in vehicles. Some like Ford have even reversed themselves on the subject and pledged to restore AM radio service to future vehicle models. There is no reason that others cannot follow suit.

Read the full Townhall article here.

Nate Scherer is a policy analyst with the American Consumer Institute, a nonprofit education and research organization. For more information about the Institute, visit us at www.TheAmericanConsumer.Org or follow us on X @ConsumerPal.