The Boeing 737 flew for several years despite rudder issues which had not been fully understood and resolved. It's conceivable that flyers who avoided the aircraft had had less probability of injury or death while flying.

How does one identify which aircraft are currently under some sort of investigation for similar, on-going issues?

All aircraft are constantly under investigation. Service bulletins and airworthiness directives are issued for every certified plane and engine. These are optional and mandatory checks and maintenance to be done in additional to the normally scheduled maintenance. Every accident and important incident is investigated by the NTSB, with a public report available online.

There is a period of time before an airworthiness directive is made final that might be considered an investigative phase, but information on this is generally not publicly available. One notable example pertains to the rudder controls on the Airbus A-300.

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