There is no obvious trend or similarity to the problems, which suggests they are more likely the result of quality control than a design flaw, aviation safety experts said.
“These appear to be isolated incidents,” said John Goglia, a former National Transportation Safety Board member. However, the battery fire remains a special concern because “they overheat or burn with such intensity, at such high temperatures, they can cause damage to the surrounding aircraft structure,” he said.
Boeing has insisted the 787's problems are no worse than it experienced when its 777 was new in the mid-1990s. That plane is one of its top-sellers and is well-liked by airlines.
“Every new commercial aircraft has issues as it enters service,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO of Boeing's commercial aircraft division. He joined Huerta and LaHood at the news conference.
United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier whose fleet includes the 787, said it has confidence in the airliner and will continue to operate its six 787s as scheduled.