Boeing accepts multimillion-dollar payout for plane safety claims

Boeing is to pay $200m (£178m) to settle claims the company and its former CEO misled investors over the safety of its 737 Max after two of the jetliners crashed, killing 346 people.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Thursday it had accused aircraft manufacturer and former CEO Dennis Muilenburg of making material misleading public statements about the plane and an automated flight control system. involved in accidents.

Neither Boeing nor Muilenburg have admitted wrongdoing, but they have accepted orders for fines of $200 million for Boeing and $1 million for Muilenburg, who was ousted in December 2019, nine months after the second crash.

The SEC said Boeing and Muilenburg knew the flight system, known as MCAS, posed a safety concern, but promised the public the plane was safe.

The SEC said it also incorrectly asserted that there were no flaws in the plane’s certification process in the first place.

“Boeing and Muilenburg put profits before people by misleading investors about the safety of the 737 Max in an effort to rehabilitate Boeing’s image” after the crashes, said Gurbir Grewal, director of the application division of the SEC.

Boeing reached a separate $2.5 billion settlement with the Justice Department last year. Most of that money went to airlines whose 737 Max jets were grounded for nearly two years.