July 27, 2013 in Business

FAA seeks penalty over 777 fasteners

Dominic Gates Seattle Times
 

SEATTLE – The Federal Aviation Administration proposed Friday a $2.75 million civil penalty fine against Boeing for not fixing its quality control system in a timely way after it found mechanics had installed non-regulation fasteners on its 777 jets in 2008.

Boeing discovered that it had been installing nonconforming fasteners on its 777s in September 2008.

The FAA concedes that Boeing stopped using these non-regulation fasteners after discovering the problem.

However, it alleges that Boeing did not immediately address the quality control issues that had allowed mechanics to install the wrong fasteners.

“Some of the underlying manufacturing issues continued to exist,” the FAA said in a press release.

That October, the FAA sent Boeing a letter of investigation, requesting a response to the quality control issues within four weeks.

“Boeing repeatedly submitted action plans that set deadlines for the accomplishment of certain corrective actions, but subsequently failed to implement those plans,” the FAA said in a press release.

The FAA added that Boeing did not address finally the issue until Nov. 10, 2010, “more than two years after Boeing first learned of the problem.”

In a statement, Boeing responded that its November 2010 plan had a database for tracking issues, increased oversight and initiated regular meetings with the FAA, with whom the company says it is “working closely.”

The company has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s civil penalty letter, dated July 26, to respond to the agency.

Such proposed actions typically result in negotiations between the FAA and the company, which could reduce the fine.

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