Subaru Decides to Censor SiriusXM Channels Unilaterally
Company Trying to Convey “Family-Friendly” Image
Much like HBO, a paid cable service, the programming on SiriusXM is not subject to the usual Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on profanity. So for those of us that want to get our yuks off listening to Howard Stern, Chris Rock, or other comedians known for their colorful language, or the even more graphic Vivid channel, since we’re paying for the service, it’s really nobody’s business what we’re listening to. However, evidently Subaru feels differently. Tech blog Automotive IT News reports that Subaru has unilaterally decided to reprogram its SiriusXM radios to automatically default to “clean” stations. In the case of Vince Patton, an owner of a 2016 Subaru Outback in the Portland area, the radio automatically defaulted to the Sirius XM “Preview” channel every time he got back into his car. It also wiped out his presets to the Comedy channels. The channels could still be pulled up but only after manually tuning them.
Patton contacted SiriusXM, who could not offer an explanation, and attempted to do an over-the-air reprogramming of his radio. Patton then contacted Subaru customer relations, who informed him of its “family friendly” radio programming policy and informed him that it’s a permanent setting that cannot be changed. While it’s understandable that owners may not want to expose their children to mature material, that’s the owner’s choice and prerogative. Many newer vehicles have “teen” settings allowing settings for maximum speed, maximum volume, radio presets, and other parameters to be set by the owners. Is it really any of Subaru’s business what we listen to, especially if it’s something we’re paying out of pocket for?
Source: Automotive IT News