NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Volvos are turning into ozone-eaters, sucking the harmful pollutant out of the air their radiators breathe and turning it into oxygen.

The system, developed by Engelhard Corp. of Iselin, coats a special catalyst onto the outside of a radiator.

Unlike other car catalytic systems, which destroy a car's own pollutants inside the tailpipe, the PremAir system destroys other people's pollution in outside air as it flows through the radiator, Engelhard said.

Ground-level ozone, a prime ingredient of smog, is a polluting form of oxygen created when car emissions are degraded by sunlight.

Tests showed that PremAir coated radiators convert up to 75 percent of the ozone flowing through them to regular oxygen, Volvo Car Corp. said Tuesday in announcing its new program.

The coating is expected to last about 100,000 miles, the Swedish manufacturer said.

The PremAir catalyst system will be available first on the Volvo S80 model car in spring 1999.

The system costs about $50 to apply, Engelhard said. It is not expected to add much cost to the top-of-the-line S80, a five-passenger luxury sedan introduced last week, which costs $39,000 to $43,000, said Jeannine Fallon, a spokeswoman for Volvo Cars of North America in Rockleigh, N.J.

Engelhard announced the system in 1995.

But while the company is working with several other makers who are considering whether to add the system, none besides Volvo is expected to use it during the 1999 auto year, Engelhard spokesman Sean Healy said.