The company said the trucks were expected to idle with only two cylinders of the engine running. But a software problem causes more than two cylinders to continue running, the Detroit News reported Saturday.
GM said that owners should not leave their vehicles at idle while unattended, the News said.
To date, all the vehicles in which fires have been reported were equipped with V-8 engines, GM said.
The company said it would reprogram the software that has lead to the problem. It said it would send letters to vehicle owners, who can contact dealers Monday for an appointment, which should take 20 minutes.
The problem could be setback for GM in the prestige department, as the 2014 Silverado is one of three finalists at the North American International Auto show, which starts Monday, for top truck honors for the year.
GM appears to have swallowed its pride, however. The company "moved very, very quickly," to announce the recall, said GM spokesman Alan Adler.
Adler said the problem became known in late December and that within two weeks the company diagnosed the problem and acted on it with a recall.
The News said GM sold 480,414 Silverados and 184,389 Sierra pickup trucks in 2013, which analyst said can earn the company $10,000 per vehicle in profits.
While noting that Ford Motor Company is expected to unveil a "really cool F-150" at the auto show, Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said the setback for GM would likely be overcome.
"Every company that has had a major recall bounces back," she said.
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