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Gottheimer Announces New Action Against Automakers Discontinuing AM Radio in Electric Vehicles

Gottheimer right with NJBA Executive Director Jordan Walton

PARAMUS, N.J. — Today, January 29, 2024, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced new action to protect AM radio in electric vehicles and ensure potential buyers know which cars and trucks have AM radio and those that don’t. AM radio is a vital public safety and emergency management tool that has served as the sole lifeline during times of crisis like 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and other major storms and floods.

Car manufacturers, like Elon Musk’s Tesla, have said they will cut AM radio from their new production vehicles — threatening the 47 million Americans who listen to AM radio, who represent around 20% of the radio-listening public, and putting public safety and national emergency management at risk. 

Video of today’s announcement can be found here

Gottheimer’s New action to protect AM radio:

  • First, Gottheimer sent a letterto the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, urging them to require auto manufacturers that exclude AM radio reception from their motor vehicles to display a safety warning in the car’s window sticker.
    • The warning should read: “Warning: No AM Radio. Vehicle Unsafe in Certain Emergencies.”
    • An example sticker can be found here.
  • Second, Gottheimer is leading the bipartisan, bicameral law, AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act. This bill will require auto manufacturers to keep AM radio in vehicles, without charging customers extra for it.
    • Gottheimer announced that the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act is one of the most widely supported bills in this Congress, with 200 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and 40 in the Senate.
      • It also has the support of dozens of organizations from across the country, including the National Association of Broadcasters, AARP, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Association of Farm Broadcasting, and many more. 

“Buying a car without AM radio is like buying a car without an emergency parking brake. You may not use it every day, but you’ll be glad you have it if your brakes ever go out,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I would think that if Elon Musk has enough money to buy Twitter and send rockets to space, he can afford to include AM radio in his Teslas.”

Gottheimer continued, “Today, I’m sending a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, urging them to include new information on the car sticker price that’s on the window of every vehicle. The importance of AM radio during large-scale emergencies cannot be underestimated, and it has, without a doubt, and without interruption, saved lives and kept our communities informed. Potential customers must be made aware if their vehicles lack this key safety feature.”

Gottheimer’s previous work to protect AM radio:

  • Gottheimer has written to major EV auto manufacturers — including Tesla — urging them to reconsider their decision to discontinue AM radio in their cars and trucks and to include the public safety tool as a stock feature. Read Gottheimer’s letters to major EV manufacturers here.
  • Gottheimer has worked to ensure that AM radio stations remain safe and intact during national emergencies through federal investment in backup power, hardening antennas and towers, and supporting key communications equipment for AM radio stations. Last year, Gottheimer helped successfully secure a critical federal investment of $56 million for the Next Generation Warning System to improve the capabilities of public broadcasters to send vital emergency and civil defense warnings.
  • Gottheimer is calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to add AM radio to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards — to require that all automakers, including EV manufacturers, include AM radio as a stock feature in their vehicles.
    • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are the minimum safety standards that a manufacturer must meet when making a vehicle — including requirements related to airbags, brakes, seatbelts, tires, controls, and displays.



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