Over 310 Boeing 737 jets contain 148 potentially defective parts and may need to be replaced, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Sunday, a safety warning that comes as the Chicago-based manufacturer continues to work to try to lift an international grounding of its recent update to the fleet.
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"The affected parts may be susceptible to premature failure or cracks resulting from the improper manufacturing process," the FAA said in a statement.
The issues, which the agency indicated do not pose an immediate threat, must be fixed within 10 days of a forthcoming directive from the regulator. In a statement, Boeing said “it has not been informed of any in-service issues” related to the equipment.
“We are committed to supporting our customers in every way possible as they identify and replace these potentially non-conforming tracks,” said Kevin McAllister, CEO of the company’s commercial airplane division.
The FAA’s warning impacts 211 Max jets, which remain under an operational halt following the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, as well as 165 older versions of the aircraft.
In the statement, Boeing said it has identified 20 Max jets and 21 737 NGs, the third-generation of the fleet, that are most likely to need replacements and plans to examine another 271 planes.
Alongside Sunday’s announcement, Boeing is working to obtain federal clearance for a software update intended to fix the issues with the Max jet that led to the two fatal incidents.
Federal officials and outside experts have warned that approval could be months away, posing a potential challenge to carriers like American Airlines, United Air Lines and Southwest Airlines that fly the aircraft.
The companies have extended the potential for flight cancellations as a result of the grounding until early August.