U.S. prosecutors will focus on Boeing Co.'s disclosures to regulators in a new probe into the company's controversial 737 Max aircraft model to check if the company provided incomplete or misleading information, insiders told The Wall Street Journal.
Federal investigators are looking into how the model was developed and certified after two units crashed in less than a year, killing hundreds on board, according to the March 22 report. The probe, which began in 2018, is already in its early stages.
The first crash happened in late October 2018 when Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta, while the second one happened just five months later, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa. The two incidents reportedly showed clear similarities, according to preliminary data.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which is also conducting its own review, previously said the model plane was cleared under its standard certification process, which has "consistently produced safe aircraft."
In light of the fatal crashes, PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk canceled its orders for the model plane, the first airline in the world to do so, the Journal reported the same day. The company said the cancellation came after passengers lost confidence in the aircraft model.
Boeing, which has not yet been accused and denies any wrongdoing, will reportedly put on additional safety features into the 737 Max, including an additional cockpit warning light, in a bid to reassure clients.