Volt Virtually Demolished but Did Not Catch Fire

In Geneseo, NY earlier this month, a parked Chevy Volt was virtually destroyed after being hit by a speeding Toyota Camry. The impact was so severe that it crushed the Volt’s roof and much of the body structure.

The Camry, driven by 22-year-old Maura Duff, failed to stop at a nearby intersection and was going fast enough that it pushed the Volt 25 feet before coming to rest on its roof. The accident also damaged another adjacent vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, along with part of the garage it was parked near to.

Witnesses at the scene said the Camry’s engine caught fire after impact, though despite being completely mangled, there was no report of leakage or fire from the Volt.

According to Livingston County News, a policeman, Sherman Yates, and a trained EMT Cate Concannon, who were nearby neighbors and first on the scene following the accident, probably helped save Duff’s life. Once the fire was extinguished she was cut out of the car and taken to a nearby hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Although it’s nigh impossible to gauge based on a single accident, it appears that despite the brutal impact and widespread wreckage (some of it was found 150 feet away from the crash site), the Chevy Volt is far from a rolling barbeque as portrayed by some sources following the wake of NHTSA crash test investigations.

Johnson said that in the 38 years of living in the same house, he’s seen vehicles end up on his lawn seven or eight times. Regarding his destroyed Volt, he said the car is easily replaceable but at the end of the day “human life is more important than material things.”

Lincoln County News via Green Car Reports


  • perfectapproach

    I’m sure the fanboys are gonna latch onto this and run with it like it’s the Gospel. Let me remind you all that 1 incident is meaningless… it takes 30 to be statistically foolproof.

    However, the Volt DIDN’T catch fire, and the Camry with a normal internal combustion engine DID catch fire. Just sayin’.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    Goodness! How fast was that Camry driver going?!?

  • Anonymous

    After seeing how that does in a crash no thank you chevy

  • Van

    Based on the description, the Camry went over the top of the Volt thus minimizing impact damage to the battery box located low in the Volt. Has the battery been discharged or might the wreckage burst into flames over the next few days or weeks?

  • Nathan

    I’m a little confused by the report. The article mentions the driver of the Camry and her health, but makes no mention of the driver of the Volt. Are they ok? Or was the Volt parked and empty at the time?

  • MrEnergyCzar

    I can barely make out the Volt in the photo, and I own one… Eventually a Volt will catch fire, most likely from the gas in the tank..

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Shane carman

    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.

  • dignon

    I hear California Rep Darrel Issa (R) has announced more congressional Volt safety hearings. As the result of this one incident, he’s now concerned that the Volt can cause OTHER cars to explode in flames even if the Volt doesn’t. He likely senses a GM/White House/NTSA coverup.

    He’ll likely also is asking why NTSA tests don’t include dropping 3000 lb cars on top of test cars or t-boning test cars at 70 MPH. What is GM hiding and who knew?

  • dignon

    Ever watch NASCAR and see a car disintegrate at 100 MPH? Many drivers survive because the cars are designed and engineered to be sacrificial in those situations. Today’s cars are made to crush and disintegrate in order to shed impact and velocity while protecting the driver. They are totaled, but the driver lives. I suppose you prefer the old days when the car remained drivable but the occupants where killed.