Twin-Tec intends to be the first supplier in Europe to offer aftermarket diesel-particulate filters to retrofit on older models.
Twin-Tec, of Bonn, Germany, says its filter will hit the aftermarket early next year.
The market for the emission-reducing system in Germany in 2004 is 500,000 vehicles, or 6 percent of the country's diesel models, said Twin-Tec spokesman Rainer Werthmann.
He said the filter will be available for 1.9-liter TDI diesel versions of the Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3, Seat Toledo and Skoda Octavia starting in January or February. In spring, the filter will be ready for diesel versions made by BMW, Ford Motor Co. and Mercedes-Benz.
One challenge for the supplier is that current diesel owners will gain no financial benefit for spending approximately $700 for Twin-Tec's filter. No European countries offer a tax break to cars with the carbon dioxide-eliminating devices.
"If that changes it's a huge market," Werthmann said.
According to a 2002 report from the World Health Organization, urban particle emissions are responsible for 2 percent of the deaths from heart and lung disease and approximately 1 percent of all respiratory tract diseases.