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USA: GM adjusts California Volts for $1,500 rebate

Feb 23 (Reuters) – General Motors Co is adjusting its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt to meet strict California requirements for a $1,500 state rebate and allow drivers to use special carpool lanes there, the carmaker said on Thursday.

Volts sold in California starting later this month will have an additional emissions system fan to help curb tailpipe emissions and some software changes not available on Volts sold outside California, GM said.

The change comes at a time when Volt sales have been slow for a car seen as a game-changer for GM. California is the biggest U.S. auto market in general, and the biggest market for alternative fuel vehicles.

A fourth of the 7,671 Volts GM sold in 2011 were sold in California.

GM said that it did not include the additional equipment for California Volts until now because it did not want to delay the vehicle’s launch. Sales began in December 2010.

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