Boeing has decided to close a lawsuit filed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that accuse the company of having lied about the safety problems of the 737 MAX.
According to the SEC, the manufacturer will pay an amount of $200 million to settle the civil charges in the case.
Former Boeing CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg will also pay $1 million, the agency said, adding that neither the company nor its former executive had admitted or denied the allegations.
Between 2018 and 2019, Boeing and its former CEO made several public statements in which they highlighted the problems in the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) guaranteeing that 737 MAX was “as safe as any airplane that has ever flown the skies”.
“Boeing and Muilenburg put profits over people by misleading investors about the safety of the 737 MAX all in an effort to rehabilitate Boeing’s image following two tragic accidents that resulted in the loss of 346 lives and incalculable grief to so many families,” said Gurbir S Grewal, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.
In October 2018, Lion Air lost one of its 737 MAX 8s shortly after takeoff, killing 189 people. At the time, Boeing issued a statement in which it suggested that pilot errors and poor maintenance of the aircraft contributed to the accident.
Nearly six months later, in March 2019, an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 crashed under similar circumstances, killing 157 people. Shortly thereafter, civil aviation authorities banned commercial operation of the aircraft to Boeing.