by Christopher Freeburn | January 25, 2013 10:29 am
Boeing‘s (NYSE:BA) new 787 Dreamliner could end up being a nightmare for the aircraft giant.
A former senior engineering technician at Securaplane Technologies, which makes the charging system for the lithium-ion batteries used in 787 Dreamliners, told CNBC that the batteries are defective and liable to explode if they overheat.
The claim comes from Michael Leon, who was fired by Securaplane in 2007. Leon sued, alleging that he was improperly fired for purported misconduct after he warned the company about problems with the batteries, but an administrative court ruled against him.
Leon says that, in 2006, a lithium-ion battery randomly exploded at Securaplane’s Arizona facilities, causing a significant fire. Boeing attributes the 2006 fire to improper testing and says the incident is unrelated to the batteries used in 787s. Securaplane rejects Leon’s claims and insists that its battery charging units are safe.
Earlier this month, Dreamliners around the world were grounded by aviation regulators after a series of incidents led to fires and emergency landings. The high-tech jet’s batteries have been linked to some of the incidents, including a fire in a Japan Airlines 787 at Boston’s Logan Airport.
Boeing shares slipped fractionally in Friday morning trading.
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