Ford now lets parents block explicit Sirius content


A V-Chip for the radio? Well this would be the first. Ford is upgrading its “MyKey” feature with a technology that allows parents to block explicit satellite radio programming while their teens are driving. The upgraded version of MyKey will debut as a standard feature late 2011 on the Ford Taurus and Explorer and will quickly be offered across a variety of Ford and Lincoln models.

The radio-blocking feature works by screening out more than a dozen channels labeled by Sirius Satellite Radio as “explicit.” Those include Howard Stern channels, Playboy, Hip-Hop Nation and Raw Dog Comedy.

A new poll by Penn, Schoen & Berland shows a majority of parents with teen drivers like MyKey’s features, including nearly 60% who say the feature to block adult radio programming is important.

By the way, MyKey also will allow parents to limit a vehicle’s top speed at any of four different settings – 65, 70, 75 or 80 mph. Ford says MyKey is designed to help parents encourage safe teen driving habits – is an easily programmable key that can limit speed, radio volume and encourage safety-belt usage by muting the radio until front occupants buckle up.

RBR-TVBR asked SiriusXM for comment, but has not heard back yet.

RBR-TVBR observation: With Sirius and XM built into so many vehicles today, having the service is like having premium cable TV channels in the car 24/7. Since the FCC decided it has no control over satellite radio content, Ford is just responding to its customers. Letting the kids take the car out is a privilege, but it shouldn’t be something that could expose them or their friends to adult content, a la Howard Stern.