Saturday, June 30, 2012

AM radio defective?

I have already commented about the AM radio being apparently defective on this blog.

I habitually listen to the local AM news radio channel on my commute to/from work and it didn't take me long to determine that the AM radio reception on this channel was far worse than in my old Audi.

This was one of the first pieces of feedback to the Fisker dealership and on the first return to the dealership for new firmware I had them check the radio.  The story was that the AM reception was as good as other vehicles they tried (including BMWs) and in any case the radio was operating as designed.

For most of my drive the AM station I listen to is adequately received, but frankly reception drops to practically nothing when I get into the downtown core.  It's definitely a continued annoyance.

Recently, a post on the FiskerBuzz forums caught my eye.  The poster was asking whether anyone else had poor AM radio reception.  Naturally, I replied in the affirmative.  Alarmingly, one other response indicated that in his case a dealer had specifically indicated that the AM radio was essentially inoperable by design when he took delivery of his vehicle.  The suggestion (at least) was that a suitable AM antenna was never installed.

That's a bit of a shocker, if true.  It could certainly explain my experience.  If the front end of the receiver is having to work with nothing more that the minimal signal from an unconnected antenna, or some minimal circuit/connector acting as an internal antenna, then I could well believe it wouldn't pick anything up that wasn't a booming direct signal.

Obviously, it begs the question as to whether there will be any remediation of this defect, whether it's by design or a manufacturing oversight.

Anyway, in the grand scheme of things it's not critical, but as people have said before, when you're shelling out for an expensive luxury car you kind of expect all the basic features to work reasonably and then you'd hope for many things to exceed mere 'average'.

As I'm still enjoying the Karma as much or more than I've ever enjoyed any automobile I'm finding it fairly easy to forgive non-critical issues... and the company and dealership are still keeping me happy with the post-sales treatment in general.  I would eventually quite like a working AM radio though!

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