737 max: Boeing agrees to pay $ 200 million in penalty

This plane model was involved in two crashes that caused 346 people. The American manufacturer was accused by the American financial market gendarme of having assured that this device was without risk.

Le Monde with AFP

Boeing is trying to settle the deadly crash affair of one of his aircraft, the 737 Max. Accused by the American financial market gendarme (SEC) of having publicly issued several messages claiming, despite these two accidents, that this model presented no risk, Boeing agreed on Thursday, September 22, to pay $ 200 million. >

Responsible at the time of these messages, the former director general of the company, Dennis Muilenburg, agreed to pay a million dollars in penalties.

This is mainly a problem on flight software, the MCAS, which led a 737 max of Lion Air in October 2018 then a similar device of Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 to lose dangerously the altitude without The pilots manage to straighten them. The crashes left 346 dead and led to the immobilization of the 737 max for twenty months.

“After the first crash, Boeing and Muilenburg knew that the MCAS posed a security problem, but nevertheless assured the public that the 737 max was” as sure as any plane having ever stolen in the “”, remarks the dry in a press release.

“Later, following the second accident, Boeing and Muilenburg assured to the public that there had been no slippage or any gap in the MCAS certification process, although they were aware of ‘contrary information, “adds the agency.

The American Authority for Aviation induced in error

Boeing had already recognized in January 2021 that two of its employees had misleaded a group of the American Aviation Authority in charge of preparing the training of pilots for MCAS software. The aeronautical giant had then agreed to pay more than $ 2.5 billion to end certain proceedings – including a criminal fine of 243.6 million, 1.77 billion compensation to airlines having ordered the 737 max and 500 million for a background intended to compensate relatives of the victims.

The Sec said that Boeing and Mr. Muilenburg had violated the stock market laws by misleading investors. If they have agreed to pay a penalty, the group and the former responsible do not deny or deny the agency’s conclusions, specifies the press release.

“In times of crisis and tragedy, it is particularly important that the companies listed on the stock market and their managers provide complete, fair and truthful information in the markets. The company Boeing and its former boss, Dennis Muilenburg, lacked to This most basic obligation, “said the president of the dry, Gary Gensler, in the press release.

The dry reproaches Boeing in particular for having disseminated a month after the Lion Air accident a press release, annotated and approved by Mr. Muilenburg, highlighting only certain passages from a report by the Indonesian authorities suggesting that the pilot and poor maintenance were to be blamed.

omissions in series

The document also failed to mention an internal assessment believing that the MCAS posed a “air security problem” well and that Boeing had already started working on modifications to remedy it.

Six weeks after the crash of the plane of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Muilenburg also told analysts and journalists that there had been no surprises in the MCAS certification process and that Boeing had verified well to have followed all the regulatory steps. Documents have later shown that Boeing had already identified problems in the process.

The agreement passed with the dry “is one of the broader efforts of the company aimed at resolving in a responsible manner the legal issues related to accidents of the 737 max in a way that best serves the interests of our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders, “said a spokesperson for Boeing. The group A, since 2019, “has made big and profound changes” in order to “solidify the security processes and the supervision of security issues”, he added.

/Media reports.