Generally speaking auto accidents are never something to be happy about. Unless of course you happen to be General Motors and the car in question is the company’s beleaguered Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. Why would GM be happy over such an incident you ask? It’s simple really, nothing caught fire.
According to the reports from the Livingston County News, a Chevy Volt in Geneseo, New York, was involved in a rather brutal accident when a driver ran a stop sign, lost control of her Toyota Camry, and plowed right into the parked vehicle. Luckily the driver of the Camry didn’t sustain any life-threatening injuries, but the Volt she rammed into didn’t fare so well. As you can see from the above image, it was practically demolished. While the owner of the Volt was likely upset, parent company GM will certainly take pleasure in knowing that the Volt didn’t catch fire upon or after impact.
It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the extended-range plug-in hybrid. There’s no denying that the Chevy Volt has been a critical success for GM – racking up numerous awards since its 2010 debut – the car has failed to catch fire with consumers, if you’ll forgive the shameless pun. Instead, the plug-in hybrid has attracted a lot of negative attention due to concerns over its on board battery, and whether or not it poses an undue risk for drivers during an accident.
Many will recall last year’s controversy when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a crash test on the vehicle, which subsequently resulted in the Volt catching fire a few weeks later, and in its wake caused many consumers to question the Volt’s inherent safety. Although the NHTSA later ruled that plug-ins like the Volt pose no more of danger than conventional cars without batteries, some argued that irreparable damage was essentially done to the Volt’s image from which it has yet to fully recover.
The latest incident, while unfortunate, will surely prove bittersweet for General Motors, but whether it will help turn the car’s fortunes around remains to be seen. Last year General Motors failed to hit its target of 10.000 Volts sold falling roughly 2,300 short of its goal, which some attributed to the NHTSA crash test in addition to the car’s rather hefty $40,000 MSRP.