Japanese Regulators End Dreamliner Battery Maker Investigation with No Findings
Japan’s air safety regulators have completed a review into quality control at GS Yuasa, the manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The process, which was conducted in concert with U.S. authorities, concluded without any findings that point to corrective action that GS Yuasa or Boeing could take.
The review did not include the manufacturer of the circuit board that controls the batteries, Kanto Aircraft Instruments, which will now be the subject of greater scrutiny as regulators search for the needle in a haystack that contributed to two on-board fires that resulted in the grounding of all 50 Dreamliner aircraft. The investigations are now in its second week.
Japanese air-safety authorities said that their probe had included the headquarters of GS Yuasa and the factory where the batteries are produced. Two of the company’s batteries caught fire in two separate incidents earlier this month, one in a Japan Airlines 787 parked at Logan International Airport in Boston and the other on an All Nippon Airways Dreamliner that was forced to make an emergency landing after smoke entered the cabin.
All 50 Dreamliners were grounded on January 16, and a larger probe by the Federal Aviation Administration and Japan’s civil aviation bureau at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport continues. The separate investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and Japan Transport Safety board into the root cause of the battery problem will also continue.