Missouri broadcasting leaders push back on car companies taking AM radio out of some electric cars

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 4:46 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:15 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Emergency leaders are upset some new electric vehicles won’t have an AM radio. They say the decision could be dangerous in emergencies.

AM radio can be a vital part of telling the public about emergencies. But in some new electric vehicles, it has gone away.

Mark Gordon, the former president of the Missouri Broadcasters Association, said the car companies claim is an easy fix.

“They’re maintaining that AM is subject to interference with the electric circuits in the car,” said Gordon.

Gordon said he and a group of broadcasters returned from discussing it with Congress. He said taking the feature away could be dangerous.

“If you eliminate AM, then there would be problems with people in their cars, driving, to be able to necessarily get all emergency alerts,” said Gordon.

Gordon said there is no law on taking away AM radio from cars. But even if it isn’t as popular as it used to be, people in Missouri tune in.

“There are nearly 100 radio stations in the state that people still listen to today,” said Gordon.

He said if this continues, a whole section of the population would be cut off.

“Our architecture for radio is still one too many,” said Gordon. “Our rural areas where broadband is still a challenge for some folks, radio is is a primary source of news and information for them.”

Gordon said talks are happening with car companies to ensure AM radio lives on.

“We’re not at a point yet where it’s been pulled from all the manufacturers, but we don’t want that to happen,” said Gordon. “We’re trying to get with them and negotiate with them to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

A FEMA spokesperson said this is a great example of why you should have multiple ways to get weather or emergency alerts. We do offer those on our KY3 First Alert Weather app.

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