Over the years, Ford's pony car has gained performance and sophistication, sometimes at the expense of old-school character. Now, the new 2024 Ford Mustang is getting further from its roots by losing its AM radio receiver as controversy over the technology's future in new cars escalates.
The AM radio's discontinuation was discovered in an order guide for the new Mustang that circulated on the Mustang7G forum. A Ford spokesperson confirmed the feature's deletion to The Drive, citing that "countries and automakers globally are modernizing radio by offering internet streaming through mobile apps, FM, or digital."
The availability of AM radio in new cars has declined over the last decade with shifts in media consumption habits, with AM radio's audience evaporating in Europe and accounting for only a small minority of the U.S. population. Naturally, automakers seeking to cut costs are removing what's now a niche piece of equipment. AM has already disappeared from many European cars, and is beginning to fall out of favor with American makes too—as shown by the aforementioned Fords.
It's a trend of concern to current and former U.S. emergency officials, who recently wrote the Secretary of Transportation a letter advising action on AM radio's disappearance. AM radio is a crucial component of the U.S.'s national alert network, with just 75 stations reaching more than 90 percent of the country's population. Officials are concerned that AM receivers' decreasing availability in new cars could compromise their ability to reach citizens during emergencies.
However, standalone AM radios remain an affordable way to negate the absence of a receiver in one's vehicle.
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