File: A United Airlines Boeing 787 taxis as a United Airlines Boeing 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, US on February 7, 2015. Image Credit: Reuters

NEW YORK: US air safety authorities are investigating whether Boeing completed required plane inspections on the 787 and whether employees falsified aircraft records, officials said Monday.

The issue centers on whether Boeing undertook required inspections to "confirm adequate bonding and grounding where the wings join the fuselage on certain 787 Dreamliner airplanes," the Federal Aviation Administration said in an email.

The FAA said it opened the investigation after Boeing notified it that the company may not have completed required inspections, which are needed to ensure a safe and functional electrical flow between aircraft components.

"The FAA is investigating whether Boeing completed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records," the agency said. "At the same time, Boeing is reinspecting all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet."

The issue surfaced after a Boeing employee observed an "irregularity" and raised the issue with a supervisor who elevated it further.

"We quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed," Scott Stocker, head of the Boeing 787 program, said in an email to staff.

"We promptly informed our regulator about what we learned and are taking swift and serious corrective action with multiple teammates," said Stocker, adding that engineering staff determined that the issues does not pose an immediate safety of flight risk.

The probe adds to the litany of issues facing Boeing in the aftermath of a near-catastrophic Alaska Airlines flight in January in which a panel on the fuselage blew out.

The FAA has given the company three months to present a plan to address "systemic quality-control issues."

The company's management of the 787 came under question at an April 17 Senate hearing at which a company whistleblower testified that he was retaliated against after raising questions about manufacturing processes on the 787 that he believed threaten aircraft safety.