The recall was issued for those vehicles sold or currently registered in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada and Texas. Arkansas and Oklahoma is also included in the Cobalt and G5 recalls.
Plastic parts connected to the fuel pump could crack in heat, causing a fuel leak and potential fire.
GM says there have been no reports of fires or injuries related to the defect. The company began investigating the issue in 2011 after a dealer reported fuel leaking from some vehicles.
GM says its warranty data indicates that the problem is far more common in warm-weather states. It will repair the vehicles for free in those states. Owners will be notified of the recall by mail.
But the company also plans to send letters to owners in other states offering a free repair within a limited time period if the parts are cracked. That offer is valid for 10 years or 120,000 miles from the date the vehicle was sold, spokesman Alan Adler said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.