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EXCLUSIVE-FAA says new Boeing production problem found in undelivered 787 Dreamliners

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WASHINGTON/SEATTLE, July 12 (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said late on Monday that some undelivered Boeing 787 Dreamliners have a new manufacturing quality issue that the manufacturer will fix before the planes will be delivered.

The FAA said the issue is “near the nose on certain 787 Dreamliners in the company’s inventory of undelivered airplanes. This issue was discovered as part of the ongoing system-wide inspection of Boeing’s 787 shimming processes required by the FAA.”

The FAA added that “based on data, the FAA will determine whether similar modifications should be made on 787s already in commercial service.”

Boeing did not immediately comment.

This is the latest production issue to hit Boeing’s troubled 787 Dreamliner.

In late May, the FAA said Boeing had temporarily halted deliveries of 787s as the agency waits for more data to determine if the planemaker’s planned inspection method meets federal requirements.

“Boeing still needs to show that its proposed inspection method would meet FAA’s federal safety regulations. The FAA is waiting for additional data from Boeing before determining whether the company’s solution meets safety regulations,” the FAA said on May 28.

The FAA in May had issued two airworthiness directives to address production issues for in-service airplanes.

The U.S. planemaker’s 737 MAX and 787 have been afflicted by electrical and other issues since late last year, and it only resumed deliveries of the 787s in March after a five-month hiatus.

Two key U.S. lawmakers said in May they were seeking records from Boeing and the FAA on production issues involving the 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner.

The FAA said in September it was investigating manufacturing flaws involving some 787 Dreamliners. Boeing said in August airlines operating its 787 Dreamliners removed eight jets from service as a result of two distinct manufacturing issues. (Reporting by David Shepardson and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman & Shri Navaratnam)

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