U.S. air-safety regulators have launched an audit into how a Boeing Co. factory tweak led to a safety problem with some of the plane maker’s 737 MAX aircraft, two years after a pair of fatal crashes prompted other fixes to the jet.
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The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday said it is investigating why Boeing missed that a minor production change involving drilled holes wound up the root of potential electrical problems, these people said.
The audit is expected to delve into issues beyond those addressed by a typical agency review of such problems. Regulators plan to examine how other minor production changes were handled, people familiar with the matter said.
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The FAA will examine "Boeing’s process for making minor design changes across its product line, with the goal of identifying areas where the company can improve," the agency said after The Wall Street Journal reported the audit.
The review could lead to changes in the agency’s oversight, the FAA indicated.
A Boeing spokesman said the company looks forward to direction from the FAA as the plane maker continues to "improve safety and quality in our processes." He said Boeing is working with the agency and airlines to address the 737 MAX electrical issue.