GM's communications manager for cybersecurity and safety, Tom Wilkinson, told ABC News that the problem lies in a computer module that controls air bags on several vehicle models, under the GMC, Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac brands.
The defect was linked to three accidents that resulted in injuries and one fatal accident, all of which were in the United States, Wilkinson said.
General Motor's stock was down by just under 3 percent after the announcement.
The vehicles being recalled include Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS and Spark EV cars in the 2014 to 2016 model years; Chevrolet Corvette, Caprice PPV, Trax and Silverado 1500, as well as Buick Encore and GMC Sierra 1500 vehicles with model years 2014 through 2017; and 2015 to 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, Silverado HD and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL and Sierra HD, as well as Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV cars.
The company said in a statement that it would notify affected customers and that dealers would patch the faulty software without charge.
If customers are unsure whether they are affected, they can check by searching their car's VIN on the company's website.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.