2021 Chevy Colorado Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Service brakes, electrical system and structure system issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

After many years of making defective trucks, the 2021 Chevy Colorado seeks to be the year of redemption. The company claims it is “such a showoff,” but most customers would be happy with simply reliable. Yet, there are just as many problems with the newer Colorado, from defective service brakes to a faulty electrical system and a poorly made structure.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Chevy Colorado

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Air Bags
Electrical System: Instrument Cluster/panel
Lane Departure: Warning
Exterior Lighting
Electrical System

Problems with the Service Brakes

Stopping the Colorado is a top priority for owners, but these brakes just don’t seem to work right at all.

Here is one Edmunds review. “I have had my 2021 Colorado for 7 weeks less than 900 miles. I have had it in for service twice for the same issues.  Brakes grind for the first 10 minutes of driving. Took it in they cleaned the brakes, two days later same thing.  Took it in again they changed the pads. 3 days later same thing, called and they told me it had a service bulletin for this issue and GM is working on it. Well 3 days later and now it grinds all the time.”

For now, Chevy has chosen to issue no bulletins about brake problems. It seems odd that the company suddenly wants to be quiet after talking about “showing off.” Maybe the automaker is eating some humble pie right now.

Problems with the Electrical System

In 2021, the electrical system should be top-notch in any vehicle, but the Colorado can’t seem to get the basics right.

Here’s another Edmunds complaint. “Hands free phone system worked about 10% of the time. They flashed the program, seemed to work better, nope took it in again, same thing flashed the program, this time it when it started acting up again, I installed Google assistant.”

It actually wasn’t that long ago that Chevy was facing class action lawsuits because its wireless phone chargers in the older Colorado models weren’t compatible with almost any standard device. This was just one of many problems that created a mass exodus of truck owners to become loyal to Ford.

Problems with the Structure

One last look forces a peek at the build of the Colorado. It should come as no surprise that nothing is made the way it is expected to be.

A final Edmunds review says, “I have had my Colorado for a month. It’s been in the shop for almost 2 weeks out of the month. The a/c compressor sounds like a jet plane. The truck has a vibration during highway speeds and really noticeable during deceleration. They tell me it’s normal. I traded a 2013 Tacoma with a hundred thousand miles that didn’t have these problems. I love the style of the truck but there has to be some design flaws somewhere. I’m a certified diesel mechanic and this stuff just isn’t right. Now they want me to test drive another one to show me it’s normal. I drove 2 last week and neither made these noises. But because they were not the exact same model that doesn’t count. Well I went and drove another LT model that was just delivered. Not only did this truck have the vibration but it also had a whining noise that sounded like a siren coming from either the transmission or rear end. Was told by the lead technician at RK in Virginia Beach va that this truck sounds like the carrier bearing was bad. Colorado’s do not have carrier bearings. But these are the same people that tell me the vibrations in my truck are normal operating procedures of this vehicle. What a real joke. I have since hired a lawyer. Do yourself a favor, do not buy the Colorado. I regret I ever did.”

Remember a few years back when Chevy was facing class action lawsuits because the transmission was defective in Colorado trucks? How could anyone expect the same company that doesn’t know anything about transmissions to have the knowledge to build the rest of a pickup truck? Let’s get real – there’s nothing here worth showing off.

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 Chevy 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.

Complaint Data

DateMar 28, 2023
Gear shifter won't recognize the truck is in park. When attempting to turn off vehicle accessories stay on and key will not come out. Dealer replaced my shifter today and the third time parking after being fixed, the issue remains.
CategoryElectrical System: Instrument Cluster/panel
DateJan 31, 2023
The contact owns a 2021 chevrolet colorado. The contact stated that the instrument panel went blank while driving. Additionally, the navigation system was inoperable for approximately 15 minutes. The contact turned the system to the off position, but the system failed to regain function. There was no warning light illuminated. The contact called the local dealer, but the vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not contacted. The approximate failure mileage was 15,000.
CategoryLane Departure: Warning, Unknown Or Other
DateJan 31, 2023
2021 colorado has a low to almost non existent turn signal chime and lane departure chime even with the radio off or very low. There's no way to adjust the vehicles audio chimes. 2021 colorodo with approximately 11k miles on it.
DateJan 13, 2023
Windshield wipers in-op. Driving in heavy traffic at highway speed. Down poor started and windshield wipers failed to operate nearly causing accident.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateNov 09, 2022
I'm reporting a safety issue with the head lights on this vehicle, 2021 chevrolet colorado lt. The low beam head lights are woefully insufficient for night driving. The light emitted is non-existent with any light from oncoming vehicles. This is well known buy other owners of this model truck, and immediately noticeable to anyone who has driven my own vehicle. I have tried 2 different types of bulbs to improve the situation with no improvement. There are upgraded lights available as an option if you order the vehicle that way, but most models on the lot do not have this option. The cost to have the vehicle retro-fitted with the optional headlights is well over 00. In parts and labor. I have owned older vehicle with the same style /strength blubs with no issue, but this vehicle is dangerous to drive at night with the standard headlights, especially in inclement weather.
CategoryPower Train
DateSep 14, 2022
I have taken my vehicle into the shop twice for an issue with the transmission. The first time they did a software update on the vehicle. They said that that would fix the issue. The vehicle was working fine for a week I took the vehicle back to the shop because it was making a clunking noise again when I put it in reverse. I recorded the incident of the clunking noise and I provided it to the service manager. They kept the vehicle for two days and stated that they were unable to replicate the issue. Even though I sent them a video they tried to tell me that it is normal for the vehicle to make a clunking noise when put in reverse. Upon further investigation online and speaking with people that know how to work on cars they stated to me that that is not normal. I have determined that multiple other colorado's have had this issue based on what I found online at this point in time chevy need to do something about this or refund my money.
DateAug 09, 2022
I have had multiple instances where the "infotainment" center as well as electronic components on my dash have shut down completely while driving. The truck stays running while it does this. The electronics then take a few minutes to "reboot" and then return to normal. I have had my truck to the dealership twice for this issue and I was told they did not find a problem and could not replicate it. I also contacted chevrolet and they simply recommended I take it to a dealership to be evaluated.
CategoryAir Bags
DateDec 29, 2021
The contact's son owned a 2021 chevrolet colorado. The contact stated that while her son was driving on a county road at an undisclosed speed, the vehicle inadvertently crashed into a tree 4-6 feet away from the road, and caught fire. No further information was available on the occurrence of the crash. The contact stated that the air bags may have failed to deploy. The fire was extinguished with the assistance of the fire department. The contact's son may have been pronounced dead at the scene. The contact's son was transported out of the vehicle with the assistance of emergency units and was airdropped to the hospital, where it was diagnosed that he sustained brain hemorrhage and third-degree burn on 65% of his body. The contact was unsure whether a fire department report was filed. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an auto body shop where it was totaled. The dealer and the manufacturer were not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 5,000.
CategoryElectrical System, Unknown Or Other
DateNov 03, 2021
My radio volume goes nuts and the controls go unresponsive, the unit brings the volume up to max I can not hear emergency crews if they are using the siren. This also creates a safety issues as now I am taking my eyes off the road to try and stop the problem. The infotainment system is failing yes the truck is available for inspection. I have taken video of the problem and sent it to the dealer. The vehicle has not been inspected by police or insurance rep, as far as manufacturer as this truck has been back to the dealer more then 4 times I fell that would be the manufacture as they are certified by gm. Gm knows that there is an issue with the infotainment system, not sure why they have not done a recall on this unit. No warnings are given before this happens. This problem first showed up when the truck had about 3,000 miles on it I bought the truck brand new.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateSep 10, 2021
This is to inform you of a safety-related vehicle service which may appear as a safety-related defect. Not only does it have the potential to affect each (1) vehicle which is serviced at such a facility but it also has the potential to affect (2) multiple vehicles across the federal interstate highway system as well as (3) properties and (4) human life. Every vehicle traveling on a roadway, bridge, overpass, through a tunnel, through mountain passes, construction zones, etc may be at increased risk in encountering any vehicle serviced at such a facility if such improper service is not discovered and corrected prior to catastrophic failure.
CategoryPower Train
DateAug 12, 2021
I purchased a brand new colorado earlier this year. The vehicle currently has about 9,000 miles on the odometer. On two recent occasions within 1 1/2 weeks of each other while driving at highway speeds, there was a clunk noise and the transmission acted as if it had been shifted into neutral. The truck would not accelerate, and the rpms were very high as I was pushing the accelerator and the vehicle was not responding but the engine was revving. This was an extremely scary and unsafe situation as cars were behind me and I narrowly avoided being hit as I tried to get over to the side of the road without any ability to accelerate. The first time it happened, after placing the vehicle in park and waiting a few minutes, I was able to get it back into gear and I drove straight to the dealer. The dealer "was unable to replicate the problem" and told me it was probably just a one-time "glitch." approximately 1 1/2 weeks later, it happened again. I took it back to the dealer. The dealer stated that the computer showed error codes p0700 and p2817, both of which are faulty transmission codes. The dealer stated that the technician cleared the codes, drove the vehicle, and was once again "unable to replicate the problem." the dealer stated that it was going to request assistance from chevy's engineers because it could not figure out what was wrong with the vehicle. I don't believe the vehicle is safe to drive at this point, as I narrowly avoided being in an accident on two occasions within 1 1/2 weeks of each other due to the failure of the vehicle's transmission to work appropriately.
CategoryEngine, Fuel System, Diesel
DateJun 30, 2021
The contact owns a 2021 chevrolet colorado. The contact stated while towing a 2020 forest river epro 20bhs, the service def system malfunctioned, not allowing the contact to view the temperature and the towing controller. The contact stated the check engine warning light was illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a local dealer where it was diagnosed with the def system needing to be regenerated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer had not been informed of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 29,000.
CategoryAir Bags
DateApr 28, 2021
Tl* the contact called on behalf of his client's father who owned a 2021 chevrolet colorado. The contact stated while the client's father was attempting to turn around on a narrow road, the vehicle fell off a cliff and crashed into a creek bed. The air bags did not deploy. The driver passed away due to a broken neck and fractured spine. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to a tow lot. The vehicle was deemed totaled by the insurance company. A dealer was not contacted. The manufacturer had been informed of the failure and inspected the vehicle. The failure mileage was 950.
CategoryPower Train, Structure:body, Unknown Or Other
DateApr 25, 2021
We purchased a new truck and were shocked to see the lack of basic safety features. We are having a hard time getting in it because of a lack of step bar and grab handle on the driver side. The emergency brake pedal is in the wrong spot and trips us. The cruise light cannot be seen while driving. There is a lack of shielding in the wheel wells exposing the engine and exhaust. It is fully exposed all along the bottom (no shields as normal). The fuel system doesn't lock and is vulnerable to tampering. The interior materials are all extremely cheap and the a/c is very weak. The transmission shifts weirdly at times which is scary. You cannot adjust the mirrors because they are manual and unsafe while driving. We are shocked at 26k gets us a new vehicle that has so many omissions on it - it should not be permitted when so many standard safety expectations are unmet.
CategoryPower Train, Suspension
DateDec 15, 2020
Truck has vibration when at highway speeds and during deceleration. Also squeaking noises coming from suspension. Truck has 4642 miles.
DateDec 06, 2020
The windshield is defective - within a month of owning this new truck one strike against it (while on the highway) (our first windshield strike) broke it very significantly - cracked throughout. I am about 60 years old and have owned many, many vehicles - we have never seen a windshield break so fast and so severely. We did an internet search and there are many other chevy colorado owners that have made the same observation - many are saying it is cheap, unusually thin glass for fuel economy or for less expense, others say chevy has not installed their windshields with the proper amount of adhesive behind it. Owners say the after market replacement doesn't easily break on impact like this factory original windshield does. I am not a scientist - all our family knows is that it was not safe to have this factory windshield on this new truck and we don't feel safe driving the vehicle with a windshield that doesn't protect us properly while on the highway. This was only one impact on the glass and the whole windshield is damaged significantly to where you can feel the sharp edge with your finger from the outside of the vehicle. There are other issues with this 2 month old truck but this windshield is a safety issue for all concerned and these trucks need a tsb or recall for owners that have this defective, flimsy windshield.
CategoryUnknown Or Other, Visibility/wiper
DateOct 20, 2020
Wavy windows in all 4 doors on a brand new 2021 chevy colorado. Dealer won't replace glass, windows are all misshapen and have specks throughout all the windows. Makes it hard to see at night while driving.

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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  • Rob

    I work for a Gm dealership in Canada. Bought a 2021 Colorado crew z71 new. Been with this company for over 20 years. three months into having the truck I notice that when I put it in reverse or drive for about 5 minutes there is a knock or bang noise coming from the transmission area. After 5 min the noise starts going away. Now today….. I am starting to get shiftier issues where when I put the truck into park the key will not deploy. I have to play around with the shiftier. This is just starting now. I have been in service at least 3 times and its the same thing ” we must hear the issue”. Sold over 2,500 vehicles for this company and they are excellent to work with. I’m just not happy with the trucks performance.

  • Ed G

    2021 Colorado owner. Bought used from dealer. Only 8800 miles. First time I drove it over 65mph the truck SHAKES.(BIG TIME) Took back to dealer. They told me they never heard of this. For me to bring in to service department to have checked out. Bullcrap. I know several people with same problem.

  • Steve

    2014 Chevy Impala Lt 4 cylinder with 8 speed transmission. The issues I have started after my 100000 tune up. I have no warning lights or codes that come up. The issues I am having feels like the car shifts speracrly and loses power. Sometimes it does not accelerate correctly step on gas RPMs go up but car does not respond. Also encountered shaking jerking and a loud bang from engine compartment. Dealer changed front motor mount fuel pump cleaned injectors.They are currently looking at the transmission. Car has been at dealership on and off since July.
    Any ideas?

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