About two dozen workers braved sleet and icy winds to protest a controversial new work schedule at Chrysler Group LLC's factories here Thursday.
But the pickets may be the least of the company's worries.
According to internal company reports obtained by The Detroit News, there are serious quality issues at Chrysler's Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which recently launched one of the automaker's most important new vehicles: the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup. And the morale problems sparked by the new shift schedule are only making these problems worse, according to workers.
During the first hour of production Thursday, workers at the Warren truck plant built 58 pickups. But only 16 of those vehicles passed final inspection, according to company documents. Quality improved as the day went on, but just over half of the trucks assembled by the first shift were approved for shipment. A company source told The News that number should be at least 78 percent and higher than that to meet the plant's quality goals.