View Full Version : Leonardo v. Boeing

4th Jan 2020, 14:56
There's an interesting dispute going on between Leonardo and Boeing. Leonardo has been supplying 767 slats for many years without incident but recently has had them rejected and repaired by Boeing at Leonardo's expense due to tool marks and tiny swarf that only recently was discoverable due to the use of a high definition bore-scope at Boeing in the closed cell of the slat. It appears that Leonardo produces these as a build to Boeing's prints. According to Leonardo's lawsuit (https://www.scribd.com/document/440969494/Leonardo-vs-Boeing#from_embed) Boeing took it upon the themselves to rework the offending parts at great expense without consulting Leonardo in advance as required by the Contract.

Two question spring to mind:

1. If this production method is faulty, are there recalls (via AD) for the hundreds in service around the world that have not been repaired, and,
2. Why the sudden change of inspection method? I wouldn't mind betting that the US Air Force introduced it for the KC767 and Boeing is sticking Leonardo with the bill.

By all accounts the offending area is finished as a closed cell and there have been no reports of problems that I can find.

Forgive me if this has appeared elsewhere; I did try to find reference.

Dave Therhino
4th Jan 2020, 15:39
An AD would be issued only if an unsafe condition is determined to exist. I don't know if there are any safety concerns associated with the contamination. The rejection of parts in production is due to someone determining they don't conform to the approved drawing requirements. It's fair game for Boeing to reject them if the drawing doesn't allow the contamination, but with appropriate engineering determinations they could have accepted them under an MRB action unless the customer has now set higher standards.

Water pilot
4th Jan 2020, 17:25
Sounds like Boeing may be a little short on cash flow? My first company did this sort of thing in order not to pay suppliers. Note that Boeing is 'charging' Leonardo $26 million for repairing slats that were invoiced at $20 million. Hmm.

Water pilot
4th Jan 2020, 18:34
You have to read the whole brief in linked in the OP. Boeings (alleged) behavior is incredible, from estimating that the workers required to fix the problem would work 12 hour days to then refusing to reveal to the supplier the details of the formula used to calculate damages because it is confidential information! This is not something that Boeing expects to win, one could speculate that it has to do with beautifying quarterly results. They don't seriously expect a supplier to pay them $50 million to provide $20 million worth of free slats!

4th Jan 2020, 21:43
imagine what they could find with a scanning electron microscope !!. I think Leonardo are completely correct , but I cannot see a US court ruling against Boeing . As far as I can see they did everything right . If Boeing had updated the drawings specs or acceptance criteria LEonardo would have fully reviewed and implemented the changes .
Good Luck them in their suit