FAA Investigating Report Boeing, Airbus Used Parts Made From Fake Titanium

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after a major manufacturer for Boeing and Airbus said some parts for commercial jets may have been fabricated using counterfeit titanium.

The FAA said in a statement to HuffPost that it is looking into the scope and the impact of the issue, and cited a disclosure from Boeing about a “distributor who may have falsified or provided incorrect records.”

The inquiry was first reported Friday by The New York Times, which found a manufacturer called Spirit AeroSystems had used titanium “sold using fake documents attesting to the material’s authenticity.”

According to the paper, a parts supplier first sounded the alarm after finding tiny holes in the material due to corrosion.

Spirit told HuffPost it removed all of the potentially phony material from its inventory as soon as it learned of the issue.

“All suspect parts were quarantined and removed from Spirit production,” Joe Buccino, Spirit’s spokesperson, told HuffPost in an emailed statement. “More than 1,000 tests have been completed to confirm the mechanical and metallurgical properties of the affected material to ensure continued airworthiness.”

The company manufactures fuselages for Boeing and wings for Airbus, Boeing’s European rival.

According to the Times, the issue is limited to jets manufactured between 2019 and 2023, specifically Boeing’s 737 Max and 787 Dreamliner, as well as Airbus’ A220.

Boeing told HuffPost the company directly sources its titanium for the vast majority of its production, and those supplies are not a part of the current investigation.

“This industry-wide issue affects some shipments of titanium received by a limited set of suppliers, and tests performed to date have indicated that the correct titanium alloy was used,” a company spokesperson said.

“To ensure compliance, we are removing any affected parts on airplanes prior to delivery. Our analysis shows the in-service fleet can continue to fly safely.”

Airbus did not immediately respond to a request for comment.