Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed on Sunday they are reviewing a wiring issue that could potentially cause a short circuit on the 737 MAX.
Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Sunday the U.S. planemaker “identified this issue as part of that rigorous process, and we are working with the FAA to perform the appropriate analysis. It would be premature to speculate as to whether this analysis will lead to any design changes.”
The New York Times reported Boeing is reviewing whether two bundles of wiring are too close together, which could lead to a short circuit and potentially result in a crash if pilots did not respond appropriately.
The FAA said in a statement Sunday the agency and company “are analyzing certain findings from a recent review of the proposed modifications to the Boeing 737 MAX.” The agency added it will “ensure that all safety related issues identified during this process are addressed.”
Boeing is currently working to design separating the wiring bundles if necessary and conducting extensive analysis to establish if the electrical fault could occur in a real-world scenario, a company official said.
Officials said the FAA had directed Boeing to complete an audit in December. The wiring issue could push back the return of the MAX, the officials added.
The FAA flagged the wiring issue as potentially “catastrophic.” It is possible other protections like shielding, insulation and circuit breakers could prevent the short circuit, a company official said.