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March 11, 2024

Collins, King Join Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure AM Radio in Every Vehicle

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King have joined bipartisan legislation to ensure that auto manufacturers continue to provide AM radio service in every new vehicle. The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act would direct federal regulators to require automakers to include AM broadcast radio in their new vehicles at no additional charge.  

AM radio is especially important for rural communities, with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) finding that two-thirds of farmers listen to AM stations for relevant updates they rely on for operations. The legislation spurs from a growing trend of automakers announcing their intention to remove AM radios from their future models.

"AM Radio delivers highway safety information to drivers and critical storm and weather updates to farmers in Maine and across the country,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan bill would ensure the accessibility of AM service in every vehicle, safeguarding essential communication tools that are critical to our rural communities.”

“Many Maine people, and especially our farmers, rely on AM radio for weather and business news they need, along with emergency updates that are essential for their safety,” said Senator King. “The AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act would ensure that auto manufacturers include AM broadcast radio in their new vehicles at no additional charge. I am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that our rural communities, in Maine and across America, have the tools to succeed.”

Specifically, the AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act would:

  1. Direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to issue a rule that requires automakers to maintain AM broadcast radio in their vehicles without a separate or additional payment, fee, or surcharge, while providing extra compliance time for small manufacturers;
  2. Require any automaker that sells vehicles without access to AM broadcast radio before the effective date of the NHTSA regulation to clearly disclose to consumers that the vehicle lacks access to AM broadcast radio; and,
  3. Direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the importance of AM radio as a communication technology during emergencies.

The AM for Every Vehicle Act is endorsed by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Maine Association of Broadcasters (MAB), the National Association of Farm Broadcasters and AARP.

The Maine Delegation previously introduced legislation that would protect locally-owned radio broadcasters from costly red tape and financial hardship. The Local Radio Freedom Act (LRFA) declares that Congress should not impose any new performance fee, tax, royalty, or other charges that create financial difficulties for small, independent radio stations like those across the state.


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