Share story

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed Friday a $2.75 million fine against Boeing for not fixing its quality-control system in a timely way after it found mechanics had installed nonregulation fasteners on its 777 jets in 2008.

Boeing discovered in September 2008 that it had been installing nonconforming fasteners on its 777s and right away reported the matter to the FAA.

The FAA concedes Boeing stopped using these nonregulation fasteners after discovering the problem.

However, it alleges 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 news release announcing the proposed civil penalty.

That October, the FAA sent Boeing a letter of investigation, requesting a response to the quality-control issues within 20 working days.

“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 news release.

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

Boeing said in a statement that its Nov. 2010 plan “implemented an enhanced corrective action management system that includes a robust database for tracking issues, additional management oversight and a series of regular meetings with the FAA to review all open cases to ensure they closed in a timely manner.”

Boeing said it is “working closely with the FAA to ensure we understand and address any remaining concerns with this proposed penalty.”

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

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

Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or