The Texas Attorney General has issued Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings a notice of request to examine, giving the beleaguered aerospace manufacturer until mid-April to produce a swathe of documentation or otherwise face business bans in the state.

Spirit AeroSystems makes fuselages for the B737 MAX programme and is under pressure over recurring quality control problems that were recently highlighted globally when a door plug on an Alaska Airlines (AS, Seattle Tacoma International) B737-9 blew out after take-off in January.

In a March 28 statement, the Attorney General's office said Spirit must produce documents relevant to manufacturing defects in their products, as well as documents relating to the company's diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments. It wanted to know whether these commitments are unlawful or are compromising Spirit's manufacturing processes.

"The potential risks associated with certain airplane models are deeply concerning and potentially life-threatening to Texans,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “I will hold any company responsible if they fail to maintain the standards required by the law and will do everything in my power to ensure manufacturers take passenger safety seriously.”

Spirit AeroSystems is based in Wichita, Kansas. However, it has sites worldwide including MRO facilities in Dallas. The request-to-examine notice orders it to produce documents and records pertaining to fourteen issues, including Boeing-specific matters, the sexual orientation of the company's employees, and the termination of a whistle blower. The Attorney General's office has asked Spirit to produce:

  • communications to its investors in which it disclosed the issue regarding the mis-drilled aft pressure bulkhead holes defect in Spirit’s products;
  • communications to Boeing where it disclosed or discussed the defect;
  • documents regarding all reports, records, complaints, or investigative reports regarding the defect;
  • communications written by or to (first level manager) Ryan Clark, (second level manager) Steve Aubuchon, or (former senior director of quality) Scott Grabon, between February 15 and March 1, 2022;
  • documents to show how Spirit’s inspection team changed its procedures for documenting defects on or around February 22, 2022;
  • documents to identify all corrective measures taken by Spirit to address or rectify the issues that led to Spirit being placed on probation by Boeing in or around 2018;
  • all meeting minutes of Spirit’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council(s);
  • any documents that Spirit relies on to substantiate its claim that a diverse workplace improves product quality;
  • documents to identify Spirit’s employee demographics for race, national origin, sexual orientation, and age before the company's diversity, equity, and inclusion policy was enacted, and any related documents as of January 1, 2024;
  • documents identifying the demographic characteristics for all personnel affected by Spirit's layoffs in 2020;
  • Spirit’s procedures, guidelines, and/or details of its incentive compensation plan;
  • (Spirit whistle blower) Joshua Dean’s personnel file during his employment at Spirit, including any disciplinary actions and/or termination of employment; and
  • all documents and communications related to Dean’s termination, including the decision to terminate.

Spirit AeroSystems has until April 17 to submit the required documents and records. Any entity that ignores a formal request from the Attorney General's office to produce documents and records forfeits the right to do business in that state.