The 584-page report released yesterday on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 noted an expired locator-beacon battery. That detail has the airline today maintaining the battery didn't interfere with the search for the plane. Reuters explains the beacon in question is supposed to convey a signal in the event of a water-related crash. But in a statement, Malaysia Airlines says a second beacon—this one in the solid-state cockpit voice recorder— would have functioned just fine while submerged. "The SSCVR battery would have been transmitting for 30 days upon activation when immersed in water," the company says.
But one of the firms representing some passengers' families suggests the battery could have indeed befouled things: "The airline ... even more clearly now may be responsible for the unsuccessful search for this plane," Kreindler & Kreindler LP said in a statement to Reuters. The firm says the battery issue could figure prominently in a possible settlement. Why wasn't the battery replaced? A computer system in the company's engineering department apparently hadn't been updated. (Read more Malaysia Airlines stories.)