Boeing Supplier Faces Lawsuit Alleging Manufacturing Defects
A class-action lawsuit filed against Spirit AeroSystems, the manufacturer of the door plug that was blown out during an Alaska Airlines flight, claims the company had experienced sustained quality failures in its products. The lawsuit highlights alleged manufacturing problems and a complaint of defects made by a Spirit employee.
Allegations of Manufacturing Problems
Spirit AeroSystems, the manufacturer of the door plug that was blown out during an Alaska Airlines flight, is facing a class-action lawsuit alleging sustained quality failures in its products. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of investors in Spirit AeroSystems, claims that the company prioritized production numbers and short-term financial outcomes over product quality.
The allegations mentioned in the lawsuit include routine presence of foreign object debris (FOD) in Spirit products, missing fasteners, peeling paint, and poor skin quality. The lawsuit also highlights two specific manufacturing problems involving mis-drilled holes on the 737 Max aft pressure bulkhead and defects in tail fin fittings on certain 737 MAX aircraft. These issues were allegedly flagged by Boeing as well.
Spirit AeroSystems is currently facing a declining stock price and has recently undergone changes in its executive suite. In October, Pat Shanahan became the new CEO, replacing Thomas C. Gentile III.
Impact on Alaska Airlines and United Airlines
The incident involving the blown-out door plug on the Alaska Airlines flight has prompted both Alaska Airlines and United Airlines, which are the only two U.S. carriers to fly the Boeing 737 Max 9, to inspect their aircraft for similar issues. Both airlines have discovered loose bolts inside several other door plugs, leading to the grounding of these jets by the Federal Aviation Administration.
This incident raises concerns about the safety and reliability of Boeing aircraft, particularly the 737 Max 9. The grounding of these jets and the potential for further manufacturing defects could result in significant financial and reputational damage for the airlines.
Responses from Spirit AeroSystems and Boeing
Spirit AeroSystems has chosen not to comment on the ongoing litigation. The company has stated that it is following the protocols set by regulatory authorities and will provide further information as appropriate.
Boeing, the main customer of Spirit AeroSystems, has also declined to comment on the lawsuit. The company, however, has emphasized its commitment to ensuring that all its airplanes meet design specifications and the highest safety and quality standards.