Most of the cars recalled Thursday were older models built before the company's 2009 bankruptcy, as was the case with the automaker's controversial ignition switch recall earlier this year.
The bulk of the latest recall applies to 2.4 million cars recalled for the wiring problem. That includes the 2004-2012 Chevrolet Malibu, 2004-2007 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, 2005-2010 Pontiac G6 and 2007-2010 Saturn Auras.
The wiring problem could cause the brake lamps to fail, either failing to illuminate when the brakes are applied, or lighting up when the brakes are not engaged, the company said. Additionally, cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control and panic braking assist operation could be disabled.
The company has received hundreds of complaints about the wiring problem, and issued a service bulletin to dealerships 2008 about the flaw. But it never ordered a recall.
GM said it is taking a $200 million charge for the cost of the repairs it will have to make. It had already taken a $1.3 billion charge for the earlier recalls which essentially wiped out its profit for the first quarter