Tester’s Bipartisan Bill to Keep AM Radio in All New Cars and Trucks Clears Key Senate Hurdle

Senator’s AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act would ensure that AM radio continues to be available in new vehicles as standard equipment

U.S. Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan legislation to keep AM radio in all new cars and trucks recently passed through the Senate Commerce Committee, setting it up for a full vote on the Senate floor. Tester’s bipartisan AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a rule that requires all new motor vehicles to have devices that can access AM broadcast stations installed as standard equipment.

“The big car companies and folks in Washington D.C. may not get this, but as a third-generation Montana farmer, I know firsthand that folks in rural America rely on AM radio to stay informed on everything from local news to severe weather warnings,” said Tester. “My bipartisan bill will make sure that all new vehicles come equipped with AM radio to ensure automakers don’t strip Montanans and rural Americans of this critical source of real-time information. I look forward to our bill getting a full vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.”

Tester’s bipartisan AM for Every Vehicle Act will:

  • 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;
  • Require any automaker that sells vehicles without access to AM broadcast radio before the effective date of the NHTSA rule to clearly disclose to consumers that the vehicle lacks access to AM broadcast radio; and,
  • Direct the Government Accountability Office to study whether alternative communication systems could fully replicate the reach and effectiveness of AM broadcast radio for alerting the public to emergencies.

Tester is Montana’s leading champion for connectivity in rural communities and has delivered critical investments in high-speed internet across the state. Tester worked across the aisle for months to negotiate his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) with a group of five Republicans, four Democrats, and the White House. Tester secured significant wins for Montana in the legislation, including $65 billion to deploy broadband to areas across the country that lack internet access and additionally make online connectivity more affordable.