WASHINGTON - The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $2.75 million fine against Boeing Co. on Friday for allegedly failing to maintain quality controls regarding certain parts for 777 aircraft production.
"Safety is our top priority and a robust quality control system is a vital part of maintaining the world's safest air transportation system," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement.
The FAA said Boeing's commercial aircraft division took more than two years after learning about quality control issues involving certain fasteners in 777 construction to fully address the problem.
Problems began in 2008 when the FAA said Boeing discovered it had been installing fasteners that did not meet government standards on the long-haul jets. It stopped using them immediately, but some of the underlying manufacturing concerns persisted.
FAA said Boeing ultimately did not act on its repeated proposals for a comprehensive fix until 2010.
"Manufacturers must make it a priority to identify and correct quality problems in a timely manner," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
Depending on the part, thousands of fasteners are used in building a commercial plane's structure.
The manufacturer said in a statement that it takes "any concern about safety, compliance and conformity very seriously."
Boeing said its response includes a robust database for tracking potential problems, additional management oversight and communication with the FAA to ensure that any concerns are resolved in a timely manner.
"We are working closely with the FAA to ensure we understand and address any remaining concerns with this proposed penalty," Boeing said, promising a formal response within the 30-day period allowed by the government.