GENEVA -- DaimlerChrysler's premium Mercedes-Benz cars will offer particulate filters on all diesel models as standard equipment in selected European countries from mid-year, the German company said on Tuesday.
Mercedes Car Group division chief Eckhard Cordes told a presentation at the Geneva car show that Mercedes was set to become the first manufacturer whose passenger car diesel engines all comply with the latest European Union emissions standards.
He said they would hit that mark in summer by means of engine design without resorting to particulate filters that capture emissions from diesel engines.
"Despite this fact we have nevertherless decided to equip all diesel-powered Mercedes passenger cars -- from the (compact) A class straight through to the new S class -- with an additional particulate filter as standard from this summer," he said.
The move applies at first to cars sold in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. A spokesman said it would be extended to other countries if demand warranted it.
France's PSA Peugeot Citroen has had success by putting filters on diesel cars. It recently fitted its millionth vehicle with the technology that scrubs emissions that cause pollution and are linked to health problems.
But its suppliers have been unable to keep up with the ambitious targets PSA has set, hitting January output.
Germany is debating state subsidies for particulate filters, for which German manufacturers have played down the need for any quick action.