A Boeing 737 MAX 8 for China Southern Airlines (front) is pictured at the Boeing Renton Factory in Renton, Washington on March 12, 2019.
Jason Redmond | AFP | Getty Images
Boeing shares slipped Friday after a Reuters report said instant messages from 2016 suggest that employees misled the FAA about a key safety system on the 737 Max, the plane that has been grounded since mid-March after two fatal crashes.
The FAA turned over the instant messages to U.S. lawmakers and the Department of Transportation Inspector General, the FAA said in a statement. The FAA says Boeing discovered the messages “some months ago” and the flight regulatory agency finds the document “concerning.”
Boeing shares were down more than 3% in midday trading.
The manufacturer of the planes is scrambling to gain regulators’ approval to bring the planes back to service. Investigators in both crashes — a Lion Air 737 Max that went down in Indonesia in October 2018 and an Ethiopian Airlines plane of the same model that crashed in March — implicated flight-control software in both disasters, which killed 346 people.
Boeing has developed a software fix for the software that misfired on the crashes but regulators haven’t yet signed off. The company is facing several investigations into the plane’s design and software.
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