Lawyers representing jet engine maker CFM International and its co-owners General Electric and Safran said "documentary evidence" shows thousands of jet engine parts with falsified documents were sold to global aircraft fleets by London-based AOG Technics, according to Bloomberg.
On Wednesday, in a London court, lawyers for CFM requested the judge force AOG to hand over documentation of "every product sale" since the company was set up in 2015.
Since late August, AOG has been at the center of a counterfeit components controversy, supplying third-party repair shops with "unapproved parts" for CFM56 engines used on older Airbus SE A320s and Boeing Co. 737s.
"The apparent large-scale falsification of documentation uncovered by the claimants gives rise to the risk that evidence relevant to these proceedings will be destroyed by the defendants," lawyers for CFM wrote in a court filing.
CFM lawyers noted there is documentary evidence that thousands of these jet engine parts were flooded into global aircraft fleets over the years.
Matthew Reeve, a CFM lawyer, said 86 "falsified release certificates" have been found, and the number of engines suspected to have parts with falsified documents has jumped to 96.
"Potentially, that means between 48 and 96 aircraft being taken out of service whilst airlines arrange for the parts to be removed," Reeve added.
CFM warned the court: "The apparent large-scale falsification of documentation uncovered by the claimants gives rise to the risk that evidence relevant to these proceedings will be destroyed by the defendants."
Although the findings affect only a tiny portion of the 23,000 CFM56 engines in operation, the presence of unauthorized parts in such a tightly regulated aviation industry raises significant alarms.