2020 Chevrolet Colorado Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission, electronic stability control and electrical system issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

While the majority of pickup owners look for a full-size truck, there are plenty of people getting behind the wheel of a compact version instead. The 2020 Chevrolet Colorado is a top choice, offering “all work for more play.” However, customers find that there is certainly more work involved while trying to resolve a multitude of issues that relate to the electronic stability control, electrical system, exterior lighting, steering, and transmission.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2019   2021   2022   

Problems with the Electronic Stability Control

Advanced systems help vehicles remain under control at all times. Yet, there are serious problems with the electronic stability control system on the Colorado.

One NHTSA complaint says, “Bought 2020 Chevy Colorado WT exactly two weeks ago today and on my way home from the 3 day weekend the traction light as well as ESC Service light came on. I have 227 miles on my vehicle.”

There are no manufacturer communications related to this problem, but it is something that should never be dealt with. Basically, the “all work” aspect of this truck is to struggle to keep the pickup on the road without any major warning systems occurring. In order to experience “more play,” customers might prefer to go with a different brand altogether. Maybe it’s time to jump ship and go to Ford after all.

2020 Chevrolet Colorado Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Electrical System
Service Brakes
Exterior Lighting
Electronic Stability Control
Seat Belts

Electrical System Issues

On any vehicle, the electrical system must be designed to handle the advanced systems it runs. Yet, complaints are abounding regarding the faults occurring.

One of the most alarming is recorded in an NHTSA complaint. “The radio/info screen went black while in use (and) wouldn’t come back on. Turned (the) vehicle off and back on and it started working. While (the) vehicle was parked and off, the dash caught on fire and discharged the passenger side airbag.”

Another NHTSA complaint reports a fire too, although it isn’t clear whether this was an electrical fault. “While driving (at) approximately 65 mph, the warning, ‘failed seat belt’ suddenly displayed. When pressing the brake pedal the vehicle would not stop, and smoke was present in the cabin of the vehicle. After coasting to a stop, the occupants exited the vehicle and flames were present, coming from under the vehicle. A bystander extinguished the flames and the fire and police departments came to the scene and filed reports.”

The mileage of this Chevrolet Colorado was 10,000. It was towed away and examined by the manufacturer, “but no information was available.”

One Edmunds review talks about several problems. “Check engine light after 20 miles for some wiring issue, multiple problems with the air conditioner that the dealer can’t duplicate, and then today my touchscreen locked up. All within the first 2,000 miles.”

In this situation, Chevy has issued countless communications about troubles with the electrical system. One such report, Service Bulletin #070604025M, states that customers might hear a noise, ticking sound or clicking when starting the engine. However, Chevy wants customers to know that this is a “normal characteristic.” Basically, the automaker is saying – nothing to see here! Telling truck owners that strange noises are normal is only going to further alienate the base.

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Problems with the Headlights

To drive the Colorado at night, it must be equipped with headlights that provide maximum visibility, but that’s not the case with this Chevy truck.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “The low light output while driving is very dim and the visibility seems to be reduced. While driving thru back roads poorly illuminate it seems that the lights are not enough.”

Again, Chevy isn’t hiding troubles with the lighting. Service Bulletin #PIT5516D talks about dealing with the accessory off-road lamps becoming inoperative. Basically, Chevrolet wants customers to “work” and “play,” but they might not be able to see clearly in the process.

Transmission Problems

Several NHTSA complaints are due to transmission issues, including jerky shifting and vibrations dubbed the Chevy Shake. They say it happens at various speeds from 25-80 mph. For example:

“The vehicle is experiencing a shake and/or shudder during light throttle acceleration between 25 and 80 mph steady state driving when (the) transmission is not actively shifting gears. The condition is as if I were driving over rumble strips.” The owner adds that the shudder has persisted since the first day he drove it with only 5 miles on the clock.

Another says it typically happens when in cruise control traveling at between 50 and 60 mph when transitioning from going downhill to uphill. This driver also describes the feeling of going over rumble strips.

“The transmission on my 2020 Chevrolet Colorado often jerks when shifting,” says another. “This is an automatic transmission. GM is aware of this issue and problem but are not resolving this problem as they indicated it should be acceptable.”

Some of the complaints highlight the fact that this is an established, well-known problem with Chevy Colorado pickup trucks. As one of them states, referencing a technical service bulletin: “TSB 18-NA-355 shows (the) same issue with 2017-2019 Colorados, but should probably include 2020 models as the condition is identical to what my vehicle is experiencing.”

Problems with the Steering

The steering problems recorded in NHTSA complaints relate to safety, although they describe several different issues.

One complaint states that the power steering suddenly stopped working while the Colorado was towing a trailer that weighed about 5,000 lbs. The message that popped up on the dash was, Service Power Steering Drive With Care. The complaint records that one person was injured in the incident and says that the “truck is unfit for driving safely.”

Another states: “ Making right-hand turns intermittently, the steering started locking until let off the throttle. Then it would release.” After this happened a couple of times, the owner decided to take the vehicle to a dealer.

But, while making a right-hand turn, the “steering wheel made a hard right-hand turn to the stop, and was so hard (I) couldn’t hold on to the steering wheel. (It) happened so fast (I) couldn’t do anything. (I) almost crashed into the shoulder of the road.

“The electric steering system on a Colorado is extremely dangerous. (I’ve) never had anything like this happen with any other vehicles I’ve owned, and (I’ve) had many different brands.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Chevrolet pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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