One recent accident in upstate New York may have been the ultimate crash test for the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicle.

A parked Volt in Geneseo, which is about 35 miles south of Rochester, was totaled (utterly demolished, actually, as you can see in the picture above) when a driver ran a stop sign, lost control of her Toyota Camry and rammed into the vehicle, according to the Livingston County News.

The Volt, flipping its nose at claims that its battery makes it a greater fire risk than conventional vehicles, was pushed about 25 feet into a garage but didn't catch fire. The Camry driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, according to the publication.

Chevy parent General Motors fell about 2,300 units short of its goal to sell 10,000 Volts last year and some attributed the lack of sales to concerns over a possible fire risk. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a crash test on the car last year that resulted in a fire a few weeks later, though NHTSA said earlier this year that plug-ins pose no more of a fire-risk than gas-powered cars.


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  • 110 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      Superman was too busy, to jump in and move the parked Volt. Maybe next time. :^)
      rv4life
      • 2 Years Ago
      I live a mile from where this happened and the volt owner is my former mailman. The volt was parked in the driveway and the crash occurred around 1 am. The homeowner was asleep above the garage where the crash occurred. The car traveling was going at least 70mph and did not appear to make any attempt to stop. After hitting a curb, it was airborne for at least 10 feet. The driver had prior alcohol offenses. Luckily, the corner where the car sped through was not full of college students waiting for a bus like it normally is during the college school semester.
        EZEE
        • 3 Months Ago
        @rv4life
        The mailmen are well paid... :)
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Months Ago
        @rv4life
        @rv4life Thank you for your post. Geneseo sounds a good community to live in, and the homeowner seems a really cool, incredibly tolerant guy ! The driver was lucky not to be killed, and even more important, didn't kill anyone else. Well done to her rescuers ! I hope she appreciates her good fortune and seeks professional help for her obvious problems. The Volt didn't catch fire, and the owner should have GM publicity rolling out the red carpet with a replacement Volt !
          rv4life
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          It is a great town and he is a great guy. He delivered mail in Geneseo for over 30 years.
        Spec
        • 3 Months Ago
        @rv4life
        How does a mailman afford a Volt, a classic Camaro, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee?
          marcopolo
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec Well, I guess it depends on the sort of 'mail' he delivers. :) But seriously, in some smaller cities, a US mailman is a well paid job. The hourly pay rate for an experienced mail delivery person is $29.31 per hour, with time and a half overtime for anything over 8 hours per day, or 40 hours per week. Field Supervisors (Senior postmen) can earn an additional $ 5.21 per hour in some areas. Many smaller city postal employees clock up 10 hours overtime per week. Benefits are excellent (retirement after 23 years at a 70% indexed pension, or full indexed pension with all benefits for life. Medical insurance is probably the best you can get since it's US Government issued. So Seinfeld's 'Newman' wasn't that badly off !
          Rotation
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Classic Camaros can be very cheap if they aren't in great shape. And depending on when you bought it. If he bought even 10 years ago, he could have gotten it for almost nothing. No one wanted Camaros much until Barret Jackson featured them once in about 2006. Sure, everyone wanted Mustangs, but not Camaros. And that Grand Cherokee is between 13 and 8 years old, it's not worth much either.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nothing caught fire? Alert the media! Okay, I'm being facetious, but thanks ABG for covering this non-event like the other events have been covered.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        The Camry actually did catch fire as the original article states. First-responders put it out though.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the quote from Green Car Reports: “It was just material things which were damaged. Everything can be put back together. Human life is more important than material things,” Stanley Johnson, the Volt’s owner, mused to the local press. Another thing not reported is that the Camry luckily missed hitting the owner's classic '71 Camaro. In addition, his Jeep Grand Cherokee was totaled and his garage sustained major structural damage.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MTN RANGER
        If it were my house, I'd be planting Oak & Cherry trees in the front yard... Nothing like a hardwood tree to protect the house - after a few years, they're stronger (and prettier) than any steel post you could sink into the ground.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      'it does send at least one positive message about the Volt: just like a regular car, it didn’t explode simply because it was hit. ' http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1076551_huge-2012-chevy-volt-crash-proves-its-safety-credentials Er, the Camry did, and petrol cars not infrequently do.
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Er, do you mean catch fire? As far as I know, the only place in the world where cars explode is Hollywood.
          brotherkenny4
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Technically correct, yet the verbiage typically used regarding lithium ion batteries is "these things can blow up". As has been done ever since some people thought that these things might actually work. If you ever have watch a lithium ion overcharge test, you'll see that they typically can be made to explode under the right conditions. Although under conditions that do not represent real world situations. However, like the NHTSA and other test organizations job security comes with fear of products. If cars are safe, do we really need the NHTSA? No we don't. So, according to NHTSA they will always be dangerous, and so will lithium ion batteries, and the people that test them will always show you just how dangerous they are and just how important it is to continue to fund testing of cars and batteries for safety.
          mapoftazifosho
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          But Michael Bay said....
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Technically, yes. Fireballs are quite unpleasant for the occupants though, and it did not seem worthwhile to nitpick the wording.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Lithium batteries? God forbid someone take one on an airplane. #terrorism!
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course I read the article. Enough trees, some will survive to protect the house and occupants.
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Holy F-bomb! That is one messed up car! Now if we can keep the Volt owner from strapping themselves back into the seatbelts, leaving the battery fully charged, and sitting in the car flipped over on it's top for a couple of weeks, the poor Volt owner might be safe from fire.....
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        Seriously. If you have looked under the hood of the Volt, there is a heck of a lot of metal under there. And it's at the very least shoved out of position in a serious way here.
      imoore
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another Toyota involved in a crash? I'm surprised ABC News didn't have Brian Ross covering this story.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Gasoline or electric, it's cool it didn't catch fire. Ignoring the whole battery fire thing, this car still has gasoline, fuel lines, etc., so it is amazing that it didn't catch fire just on principle. Good job GM!
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Twice as likely to catch fire because it has both batteries and a gas engine! ;-)
      Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      In other words... "Toyota Camry fails to stop, then catches on fire." Let's sum it up nice and easy for the illiterate Volt bashers. An alternate headline could also be: "Expensive Jeep SUV hit by Camry and completely totaled."
      Mark Schaffer
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stanley Johnson is a better human being than you are demonstrating yourself to be: "“No one was hurt. It was just material things which were damaged. Everything can be put back together,” Johnson philosophized. In the midst of he and his wife’s rude awakening that morning, Johnson “knew exactly what was happening.” His property is situated directly in line with Lima Road. In the 38 years Johnson has lived at the address, vehicles have driven through the intersection and ended up on his lawn “seven or eight times.” However, until the Friday morning incident, none had gone so far. Johnson is not advocating for a guard rail barrier at the intersection. He considers the current accident an anomaly and says he can tolerate the occasional vehicle on his lawn. Indeed, he suggests the driver is alive because there was no barrier on the property which would have stopped her vehicle dead in its tracks. “Human life is more important than material things,” he reflected. The incidence of such accidents has diminished since the Lima Road stop sign was installed about ten years ago, he noted."
      SVX pearlie
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't pretend to be so good to others. My kids play in our lawn. I also think that drunk driving should be trigger mandatory capital punishment, no appeal. All else being equal, I'll see a thousand dead drunk driverss to keep my kids safe. If that makes me a bad human being, I'm totally good with that.
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