New safety concerns over Boeing 737 Max systems: Report

The issues go beyond the software that has been blamed for two deadly crashes

Boeing is contemplating taking action after an internal audit revealed concerns about wiring in the tail of the 737 Max 8, which has been grounded for months following two deadly crashes, according to a report on Sunday.

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Boeing conducted the audit in December at the behest of the Federal Aviation Administration, The New York Times reported.

"The FAA and Boeing are analyzing certain findings from a recent review of the proposed modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX," the FAA told FOX Business in a statement. "As part of its continuing oversight, the agency will ensure that all safety related issues identified during this process are addressed before the aircraft is approved for return to passenger service. Our first priority is safety, and we have set no timeframe for when the work will be completed."

In this March 27, 2019, file photo taken with a fish-eye lens, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane sits on the assembly line during a brief media tour in Boeing's 737 assembly facility in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

The wiring issue could cause a short circuit that could lead to a crash but would not be too complicated to fix, according to The Times.

The problem could also be present in the 737 NG, which has approximately 6,800 aircraft in service, reported The Times.

A Boeing spokesperson told FOX Business that "it would be premature to speculate as to whether this analysis will lead to any design changes."

"Our highest priority is ensuring the 737 MAX meets all safety and regulatory requirements before it returns to service," the spokesperson said. "We are working closely with the FAA and other regulators on a robust and thorough certification process to ensure a safe and compliant design. We identified this issue as part of that rigorous process, and we are working with the FAA to perform the appropriate analysis."

Boeing and the FAA are also investigating the removal of a coating that protects the fuel tank and fuel lines during a lightning strike. The FAA is also reportedly evaluating the strength of one of the engine rotors.

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The FAA is weighing whether to require flight-simulator training for all 737 Max pilots, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The 737 Max was grounded after two deadly crashes. The first crash involved a Lion Air flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, which left 189 people dead in October 2018. Then an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed and killed all 157 people on board in March.

The U.S. was not the first country to ground the jet when it did so in March. Countries including China, Ireland, the United Kingdom and all of Europe either suspended use of the aircraft or banned the planes from their airspace before the U.S. made the call.

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FOX Business' inquiry to Boeing was not immediately returned.