A plastics parts shortage has shut four Chrysler assembly plants - Belvidere in Rockford, Illinois, Newark in Delaware, Sterling Heights in Michigan and Toldeo North, and axed a shift at the latter's associated supplier park in Ohio.

In a statement, Chrysler said affected employees would be notified regarding return to work.

"These actions are to ensure the highest levels of quality for our customers. The delayed volume will be rescheduled in the near future. We are monitoring the situation closely and will adjust inventory mix accordingly to ensure our operations resume efficiently and as quickly as possible," the automaker said without elaborating.

US reports citing a Chrysler spokesman said the disruption was due to the bankruptcy protection filing by, and parts shortages from, Dearborn-based Plastech Engineered Products which filed for bankruptcy protection last week. It supplies plastic components for vehicle interiors, exteriors and powertrain.

About 10,500 employees will be affected by the plant closures and a second shift shutdown at the supplier park, Chrysler spokesman Kevin Frazier told the Associated Press (AP).

Chrysler is looking at other potential suppliers to fill the gap, he reportedly added, noting that Chrysler terminated its contracts with Plastech on Friday.

AP said Plastech has 36 facilities and 7,600 employees in the United States and Canada making engine covers, grille panels, mouldings, metal stampings, door panels, floor consoles and safety restraint system components for Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Toyota, according to the company's website.

Ford is not planning any plant closures or shut downs related to Plastech, Ford spokesman Todd Nissen told AP.

"We are working with Plastech to ensure there is an adequate supply of parts to our facilities," Nissen was quoted as saying. "We have not experienced any production losses, but we are continuing to closely monitor the situation."