Boeing Has 30 Days to Pay $17M Settlement, or Face Millions More in Fines

Boeing must pay at least $17 million within 30 days to fix problems with the 737, Max and NG plane models, or it may have to deal with another $10 million in fines.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made the announcement Thursday and stipulated that the settlement will address the airplane manufacturer's decision to use unapproved parts on 737 and Max jets constructed between 2015 and 2019. About 800 planes had been installed with unapproved sensors, while 300 had been installed with unapproved wing panels.

The administration also instructed Boeing to examine whether it will be able to boost 737 production safely moving forward.

A spokesman for the company said that Boeing had fully fixed the issues that caused two deadly plane crashes and the manufacturer's planes being pulled out of service for a long period of time.

"We continue to devote time and resources to improving safety and quality performance across our operations," the spokesman said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Boeing Planes
Boeing 737 Max airplanes sit parked in a storage lot, Monday, April 26, 2021, near Boeing Field in Seattle. Boeing is paying $17 million and promising to take steps to fix production problems with its popular 737 jets. The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday, May 27, that the settlement covers the installation of unapproved sensors and other parts on some Boeing 737 models including NGs and the Max. Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

In January, Boeing agreed to pay $2.5 billion to avoid possible criminal prosecution for deceiving regulators about the safety of the Max. It faces lawsuits filed by families of passengers killed in the Max crashes.

Since the FAA cleared the Max to return to flight late last year, more than 100 newly built ones were idled by a problem with electrical grounding of some cockpit equipment. Boeing also held up deliveries of the larger 787 jet for several months because of a flaw in how panels of the carbon-fiber fuselage were joined.

This month, two leaders of the House Transportation Committee said they are requesting more information from Boeing and the FAA about those recent problems.

Shares of Chicago-based Boeing Co. rose 3% in midday trading after the CEO of its largest customer, Southwest Airlines, said the airline has room to add nearly 500 new planes in the coming years. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told The Dallas Morning News that the airline will need more planes after adding new destinations and restoring its network after the coronavirus pandemic slowdown that hit travel last year.

Boeing 777X
A Boeing 777X airplane takes off on its inaugural flight at Paine Field in Everett, Washington on January 25, 2020. Boeing has to pay $17 million within 30 days to fix issues on its 737, Max and NG models. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images