DETROIT General Motors Corp. is recalling about 254,000 of its Saturn L-Series cars from model years 2000-03 to correct an engine problem that has led to fires.
GM said Tuesday it plans to begin notifying owners of the cars, which are equipped with 2.2-liter engines, next month.
GM said it will replace the ignition module and spark plugs on the cars. Also, on 2002-03 models, GM said mechanics will reprogram the powertrain control module.
The repairs will be done at no charge to the customer.
Some of the vehicles may misfire, which could lead to failures in the exhaust system. If the initial condition is not fixed and the vehicle continues to be driven, there could be damage to the brakes, fuel system or other components.
Continued driving could result in a fire, GM said. There have been seven reports of fires related to the problem, but no crashes, serious injuries or fatalities.
GM said early warning signs of the problem are difficulty in starting, reduced power and a change in idle. The "Service Engine Soon" light also would flash and there could be noticeable exhaust noise.