Airbus said on Tuesday it had uncovered problems involving the use of sales agents to sell U.S. arms technology, dragging the United States for the first time into a growing corruption scandal at Europe's largest aerospace firm.
Airbus also warned of a material impact from potential fines resulting from existing bribery investigations in the UK and France surrounding the use of middlemen in airplane sales, which have also triggered a sweeping internal investigation.
But it said it was too early to gauge the size or timing of these or the outcome of the latest U.S.-related findings.
Airbus said it had discovered inaccuracies in past declarations to the U.S. State Department under part 130 of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), a section of U.S. law covering the use of commissions to sell arms.
Finance Director Harald Wilhelm stressed the European company had not disclosed any secrets about sensitive U.S. technology and that the issue was restricted to the use of sales agents and commissions.
"This is about defence equipment and services related to it," he told reporters.
Airbus has been badly shaken by the existing corruption probes, which have already clipped aircraft sales.