Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Boeing provided incomplete or misleading information about its best-selling 737 Max aircraft to U.S. air safety regulators and customers, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
It’s reportedly part of a larger investigation into how the aircraft was developed and certified, according to the Journal. Boeing has faced escalating pressure since two of its new 737 Max jets crashed in under five months.
The criminal investigation began last year, after the aircraft was involved in a Lion Air crash that killed 189 individuals. Five months later, at the beginning of March, one of Boeing’s new Max jets operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed, killing 157 people. U.S. regulators have not connected the two incidents but suggested there are similarities.
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Transportation Department’s inspector general’s officer are working together under the direction of federal prosecutors, according to the Journal. Boeing has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
"The 737 Max was certified in accordance with the identical FAA requirements and processes that have governed certification of all previous new airplanes and derivatives," Boeing told the Journal.
The Chicago-based manufacturer is expected to soon release a software update to fix the stall-prevention system. The Federal Aviation Agency called the review of the update an “agency priority.”
The U.S., the U.K., China and a number of other countries have grounded the fleet since the second crash.
Boeing has over 4,600 unfilled orders for its 737 Max jets, according to the company’s database.