It seems as though the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 might not be as trail-ready as its “ZR2” badge would suggest, as numerous owners are claiming to have experienced unprovoked side-curtain airbag deployment even in moderate off-road conditions. The problem appears to stem from the truck’s rollover-detection system, which proactively triggers the side-curtain airbags to deploy if it senses that a vehicle rollover is imminent, Jalopnik reports. So far, General Motors’ response to customer complaints has been less-than-satisfactory.
For instance, one of the affected Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 owners that Jalopnik‘s David Tracy spoke to was denied his request that GM cover the expense of repair after his truck deployed its side airbags over some relatively gentle terrain. The man’s insurer estimated the cost of repairs at $6,512.74, which GM refused to pay, allegedly because of existing damage to the truck and some aftermarket wiring. The wiring, the owner says, is related to LED headlights, LED fog lights, a winch (connected directly to the battery), and an electric lock for the tailgate – in other words, things that aren’t at all likely to interfere with airbag operation so long as they’re installed correctly.
The existing damage, he says, was limited to some superficial scrapes on the rear bumper resulting from driving up a steep hill, and some light fender damage allegedly incurred at the dealership.
Given the apparent prevalence of the airbag issue, it’s unlikely that the particulars of this owner’s Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 had anything to do with the side-curtain airbag deployment. Much more likely, it’s a matter of software calibration, and even unmodified, factory-stock trucks have shown a certain propensity for the issue. Just ask Kelley Blue Book, which tested a Z71 truck from GM’s press fleet on a fire trail, allegedly while traveling “at breakneck speeds ranging from five to seven miles an hour.” (See video above.)
Those are by no means the only two reported instances of the side-curtain airbags spontaneously deploying in the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, yet as far as we know, General Motors has yet to take any sort of sweeping action to address the issue. The automaker even reportedly told one owner that they’d courteously fix his truck “just this once,” before recommending that the owner not do any more off-roading with his ZR2. Like, ever.
Owners might as well peel off those “ZR2” badges then, we reckon.