Posted: Jan 30, 2013 7:43 PM by Sharyl Attkisson - CBS News
(CBS News) WASHINGTON - CBS News has learned that more than just a few batteries went bad on Boeing's revolutionary Dreamliner 787s since the airliner began flying about two months ago.
Two overheated batteries, one leading to a fire, grounded the fleet earlier this month while investigators look into the cause. New details are a sign the problem was much more widespread.
United Airlines had to replace multiple batteries on its fleet of six Dreamliners.
United has only been flying the Dreamliner since early November, so aviation safety experts say it's a red flag that more than one battery would already be having trouble.
Also, Japan's All Nippon Airways said it replaced ten Dreamliner batteries on its fleet of 17, all before the two serious incidents of overheating that grounded the fleet. Japan Airlines also experienced a "few" replacements.
ANA said half the replaced batteries showed an unusually low charge, which could be important because when lithium ion batteries drain too low, recharging can create a fire risk.
Wednesday, Boeing told CBS News that battery replacements are not "a result of safety concerns" but part of procedures that ensure faulty batteries aren't kept in circulation.
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.