Boeing 737
© Reuters/Lindsey Wasson
737 MAX aircraft at Boeing facilities at the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, September 16, 2019.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has signaled that it will seek to fine Boeing some $5.4 million, accusing the multi-billion dollar company of wittingly installing defective parts on its ill-fated 737 MAX jets.

The FAA said Boeing had "failed to adequately oversee its suppliers to ensure they complied with the company's quality assurance system," in a statement on Friday, adding that it had "knowingly submitted aircraft for final FAA airworthiness certification after determining that the parts could not be used due to a failed strength test."

The aviation regulator announced in June that over 300 Boeing aircraft might contain faulty components which could injure passengers or prevent planes from landing safely, and said it would require the company to replace the parts.

While the company has taken a serious hit in quarterly earnings over the last year after a series of fatal crashes involving the 737 MAX - which has been grounded worldwide since last March - each year Boeing counts its profits in the billions, making the proposed fine a barely perceptible slap on the wrist.

Boeing's recently ousted CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who was fired in December as the company struggled in the aftermath of the MAX crashes, was given $62 million in benefits as he departed the firm - a sum dwarfing the FAA's latest fine. He was slated to receive a "severance" package and stocks worth millions more, but forfeited the offer.