Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
Continuing coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Plus, the latest on Mideast tensions.
(CNN) – There is one piece of equipment on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that could be key to solving this whole mystery: the flight data and cockpit voice recorder, the so-called "black box."
But time is very much of the essence, because the recorder comes with an expiration date of about 30 days of battery life.
CNN safety analyst David Soucie, author of "Why Planes Crash," says the specific batteries on this missing plane, could already be dead.
Auditors at the maintenance base that took care of this particular flight, MH370, told Soucie the batteries were stored incorrectly.
"Among that audit was the handling of the pinger, of the little battery in the pinger. Those batteries and pingers need to be stored either in a refrigerated area, or room temperature area," said Soucie.
Malaysia is not a cool country, and summers are extremely hot and humid. The auditor found the batteries and pingers were stored in an area with a temperature of more than 100 degrees.
"He wrote that up as a finding, he said, 'We need to change this.' So those batteries that were in there were retired, because what happens at that temperature is they go to about half-life," said Soucie.
For more of our interview with safety analyst David Soucie, check out the video above.