The latest recall, which follows the 1.6 million cars the automaker started recalling in February because of the same problem, affects Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Pontiac G5, Solstice, and Saturn Ion and Sky vehicles sold in the U.S. between 2008 and 2011. The earlier recall was only for cars through the 2007 model year.
GM said it is unable to track down all the parts that may have been installed in 2008-11 vehicles.
The company said it not aware of any reports of fatalities involving vehicles in this group where a front impact occurred, front-seat air bags failed to deploy and the ignition was in the "accessory" or off position.
"We are taking no chances with safety," said GM CEO Mary Barra in a statement. "Trying to locate several thousand switches in a population of 2.2 million vehicles and distributed to thousands of retailers isn't practical. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling the rest of the model years."
The ignition problem can cause engines to stall and disable power steering, brakes, seatbelts and airbags. The defect has been linked to 31 crashes involving GM vehicles and at least a dozen deaths.
GM chief executive Mary Barra is scheduled to address lawmakers on Tuesday to answer questions about the car giant's internal handling of the ignition-switch problem. The company first learned of the defective ignition switches in 2001, but didn't start the recall until last month.
In another blow for the car giant, trade publication Automotive News reported Friday that GM has told car dealers to stop selling roughly 21,000 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars from the 2013 and 2014 model years. GM has not said why it is advising dealers not to sell the vehicles.
GM shares, which have sunk following the recall, closed Friday at $34.73, up 0.6 percent on the day, and they remained largely flat in after-hours trading.