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Spirit AeroSystems

The Spirit AeroSystems logo is pictured on an unpainted 737 fuselage as Boeing's 737 factory teams hold the first day of a "Quality Stand Down" for the 737 program at Boeing's factory in Renton, Washington on Jan. 25. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Boeing workers at the Renton Municipal Airport in Washington finalize assembly of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet on Feb. 27. An FAA audit faulted Boeing for "multiple instances" of quality control shortcomings. Jovelle Tamayo for NPR hide caption

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Jovelle Tamayo for NPR

Boeing announced a management shakeup - including the ouster of the leader of the 737 Max production line. At the Singapore Airshow, miniature models of Boeing aircraft including the 737 Max (front) are displayed on February 21, 2024. Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images

A 737 Max 8 undergoes final assembly inside Boeing's factory in Renton, Wash., on March 27, 2019. Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems makes the fuselages and ships them to Washington. A series of production issues at Spirit have led to problems. Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP

Why problems at a key Boeing supplier may help explain the company's 737 Max 9 mess

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The Federal Aviation Administration has grounded 171 of the 737 Max 9 planes in the United States, as it conducts an audit of the Boeing's production line. FAA officials have said the regulator is considering adding an independent third-party inspector to oversee Boeing inspections and quality. NTSB via AP hide caption

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NTSB via AP