FAA chief Steve Dickson flies a Boeing 737 MAX, from Boeing Field on September 30, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday said it is investigating the origins of a manufacturing problem that led to the recent grounding of dozens of Boeing 737 Max planes earlier this month.
The agency a day earlier ordered fixes to address electrical issues on 109 737 Max aircraft, 71 of them in the U.S. The FAA said there is insufficient electrical grounding in some areas of the cockpit in some of the jets. The issue, which arose after a design change in early 2019, could ultimately affect systems such as engine ice protection if not addressed, the FAA said in its order.
The issue isn’t tied to the system implicated in two fatal crashes that grounded Boeing’s best-selling jet for nearly two years. But the grounding comes just as Boeing is trying to repair its reputation after the crashes.
The manufacturer said Wednesday it paused deliveries of new Max planes as it addresses the problem and CEO Dave Calhoun warned investors that April deliveries will be “light” as a result.
The FAA said Thursday that it is also auditing Boeing’s process for making minor design changes throughout its product line, “with the goal of identifying areas where the company can improve its processes…