Rep. Josh Gottenheimer (D-NJ), who represents most of Bergen County and parts of Passaic and Suffex County is the lead sponsor on a bill in the House of Represenatives that would require automakers to maintain AM radios in their new vehicles at no extra charge to the consumer. The bill, the AM for Every Vehicle Act, has support in the Senate from Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Ted Cruz. (D-TX)
Gottenheimer's bill comes in the wake of reports that BMW, Volkswagen, Madza and Tesa are removing from AM radios from their new electronic vehicles because it can interfere with the sound. Ford is also eliminating AM radio from all of its new vehicles.
Lacking access to AM radio could make people less safe during a large-scale emergency, Gottenheimer fears.
"When the cell phone runs out, the internet gets cut off, or the television doesn’t work because of no electricity or power to your house, you can still turn on your AM radio," Gottenheimer said.
The AM for Every Vehicle Act would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles for free. Any vehicle made before the rule goes into place must clearly disclose to consumers it lacks access to AM radio.
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