737 MAX plane security: Accused of deception, Boeing pays 200 million
The Boeing 737 MAX had been grounded for twenty months, after two crashes that had caused 346 deaths. They were cleared to fly again at the end of 2020, once the flight control software, MCAS, was modified.
Accused by the US Financial Markets Constable (SEC) of x27; Having publicly conveyed several messages that, after two fatal air crashes, the 737 MAX was safe, Boeing on Thursday agreed to pay $200 million.
Responsible at the time for these messages, the company's former general manager, Dennis Muilenburg, for his part agreed to pay a million dollars in penalties.
It's mainly a problem with flight software, MCAS, which caused a Lion Air 737 MAX in October 2018 and then a similar Ethiopian Airlines aircraft in March 2019 to nose dive without the pilots managing to straighten them. The crashes killed 346 people and grounded the 737 MAX for twenty months.
After the first crash, Boeing and Muilenburg knew MCAS was a safety concern, but nevertheless assured the public that the 737 MAX was as safe as any plane that had ever flown in the sky, the SEC notes in a release.
Later, following the second accident, Boeing and Muilenburg assured the public that there had been no slippages or gaps in the MCAS certification process, although they had knowledge of information to the contrary, adds the agency.
Boeing had already admitted in January 2021 that two of its employees had misled a group of the company. US aviation authority responsible for preparing pilot training for MCAS software.
The aeronautics giant had then agreed to pay more than 2.5 billion dollars to settle certain lawsuits – including a criminal fine of 243.6 million, 1.77 billion in compensation to the airlines which ordered the 737 MAX and 500 million for a fund intended to compensate the relatives of the victims.
The SEC estimated that Boeing and Mr. Muilenburg had violated stock market laws by investors in error.
While they agreed to pay a penalty, neither the group nor the ex-manager admits or denies the conclusions of the #x27;agency, says the press release.
“In times of crisis and tragedy, it is especially important that publicly listed companies and their leaders provide full, fair and truthful information to the markets. The Boeing Company and its former boss, Dennis Muilenburg, failed in this most basic obligation.
— Gary Gensler, Chairman of the SEC
The SEC notably accuses Boeing of having published a press release a month after the Lion Air accident, annotated and approved by Mr. Muilenburg, highlighting only certain passages of a report from the Indonesian authorities. that the pilot and poor maintenance were to blame.
The document also failed to mention an internal assessment that MCAS was indeed an aviation safety issue and that Boeing had already started working on changes to fix it.
Six weeks after the Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed, Mr. Muilenburg also told analysts and reporters that he was not There had been no surprises in the MCAS certification process and that Boeing had verified that it had followed all the regulatory steps.
Documents later showed that Boeing had already identified issues in the process.
The SEC settlement is part of the company's broader efforts to responsibly resolve legal issues in related to the 737 MAX accidents in a manner that best serves the interests of our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, a Boeing spokesperson said.
The group has, since 2019, made big and deep changes to solidify security processes and oversight of security matters, he added. tee.