KUALA LUMPUR/SYDNEY - Malaysia Airlines said on Monday that an expired battery in the underwater locator beacon of the "black box" flight data recorder on missing Flight MH370 would have made no difference in the search for the plane.
Lawyers acting for some of the families of those on board said earlier that the fact the battery had not been replaced - revealed in a weekend report on the anniversary of MH370's disappearance - could be key in any legal action against the airline.
MH370 vanished shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, early on March 8 last year, becoming one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
A 584-page interim report into the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200ER, released on Sunday, said the beacon battery for the flight data recorder had expired in December 2012 and was not replaced. The beacon is designed to send a signal if a crash occurs in water.
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said in a statement on Monday that a similar beacon was also installed with the solid state cockpit voice recorder (SSCVR) and its battery life was still good.