GM said there have been no reports of any fires or injuries.
Some of the recalled vehicles are no longer in production. The recall includes the 1998-1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue, the 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Prix, 1997-2003 Buick Regal, and the 1998-2003 Chevrolet Lumina, Monte Carlo and Impala.
It involves vehicles with a 3.8-liter V6 engine. The government said drops of oil could fall into the exhaust system and cause a fire in the engine.
GM spokesman Kerry Christopher said it was a precautionary measure for consumers.