Are electric car manufacturers going too far in the name of safety, or is this all part of a larger agenda to silence conservative voices?
In a move that has raised eyebrows among both conservatives and progressives alike, many electric car manufacturers have recently started removing AM radios from their vehicles.
Breitbart reports, this news comes amidst safety concerns that such radios could be sources of radio frequency emissions that interfere with the autopilot function of cars. While some are praising these new changes as necessary steps for better road safety, others are suspicious of the motives behind it. After all, AM radio is largely known as a medium for conservative talk radio shows, which these companies may want to stop from being heard by their customers. But what’s really at play here?
Electric car manufacturers first began removing AM radios from their vehicles in late 2020. The trend continued last month when Ford announced its new F150 Lightning electric truck would not have an AM/FM radio installed—a feature that had been present in previous F150 models since 1997. The company released a statement citing “safety concerns” as the primary reason behind the decision. According to Ford, they felt that having an AM/FM radio installed on the vehicle potentially interferes with the functioning of its autopilot system, thus posing potential safety issues for drivers and passengers.
However, critics have argued that there is no scientific evidence to support this claim and have accused Ford of using “safety concerns” as an excuse to stifle conservative voices on airwaves. Business Insider notes that one prominent example of how this could potentially harm conservatives’ First Amendment rights lies in President Trump’s frequent radio interviews with conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity during his tenure as president. By silencing them on airwaves through removal of AM radios in cars, some argue that electric car manufacturers are effectively finding ways to make sure those kinds of interviews never happen again—at least not on their vehicles’ radios.
Despite the concerns some in the Federal Government are working to ensure that AM radios stay inside of cars as seven former Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrators said in a Sunday letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and several congressional committees that the government should seek assurances that automakers will keep the AM radio in their vehicles.
According to FEMA, more than 75 radio stations are equipped with backup communications and generators to continue broadcasting information during an emergency.
Interestingly enough, other major automobile brands like Toyota and Honda haven’t followed suit with similar regulations despite knowing about potential interference issues with AM radios — indicating a possible correlation between politics and decisions made by these companies when it comes to consumer electronics inside cars.
In light of recent events surrounding electric car manufacturers like Tesla and Ford removing AM radios from their vehicles, much speculation remains about whether such actions are motivated primarily for safety reasons or whether this decision might be more closely linked with trying to censor certain content on airwaves — particularly conservative talk shows favored by supporters of Donald Trump’s presidency during his time in office.. While there may never truly be an answer regarding the true intentions behind these changes made by automakers in regards to consumer electronic devices installed inside cars , one thing is certain: we will continue seeing increasing regulation imposed upon us by corporations claiming they’re doing so out of “safety” considerations — often times falling short from actually taking into account our freedom of speech .
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