Boeing faces FAA fine on 777 quality control issues

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Boeing faces a $2.75 million fine from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for doing nothing for two years after discovering a quality control problem, the agency says.

The FAA says it proposed the fine because Boeing waited until 10 November 2010 to change manufacturing procedures that allowed non-conforming fasteners to be installed on Boeing 777s.

Boeing switched to conforming fasteners immediately after discovering the problem in September 2008, but the underlying issues were not addressed until more than two years later, according to the FAA.

"Manufacturers must make it a priority to identify and correct quality problems in a timely manner," says FAA administrator Michael Huerta.

Boeing has 30 days to respond to the FAA after receiving the agency's letter informing the company of the civil penalty.

"We are working closely with the FAA to ensure we understand and address any remaining concerns with this proposed penalty," Boeing says.

Boeing adds that the quality control issue was resolved on 10 November 2010. Boeing also implemented an "enhanced corrective action management system", added management oversight and now meets regularly with the FAA to exchange information.. 

The $2.75 million fine is the third penalty proposed by the FAA against Boeing in as many years.

The oversight agency proposed a $13.75 million fine against Boeing in 2012 for failing to send service instructions in a timely manner to airlines on ways to reduce the risk of fuel tank explosions.

The FAA also proposed a $1.05 million fine against Boeing in 2011 for failing to correct a known problem involving passengers oxygen systems, also on 777s.