The Wall Street Journal reports that on Monday the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officially released its report on the mysterious battery fires that grounded Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner fleet last year. And while it didn’t identify what caused the actual short circuit, the NTSB puts the blame on a series of failures by Boeing, Japan’s GS Yuasa Corp. — who supplied the 787’s batteries — and even the FAA.
A “probable manufacturing defect” is as specific as the NTSB got in the report, putting part of the blame on GS Yuasa Corp. for the first Dreamliner battery fire that happened at Boston’s Logan International Airport in January of last year. It was also confirmed that the Japanese company had performed its safety testing on a different version of the battery than was used in the final design and build of the Dreamliner.
The NTSB made sure to spread some of the blame to the FAA as well for a lack of oversight of Boeing’s extensive outsourcing approach when it came to putting the 787 into production.
Since the issue at Logan International, Boeing has designed, tested and implemented new safety measures in the Dreamliner to vastly reduce the risk of future battery fires, as well as systems designed to better handle the situation were it to ever arise again. But improvements in the design of the 787’s battery themselves will hopefully mean they never have to be put to use. [WSJ]