• GM recall affects 40,859 vehicles, including Cobalt, Equinox and Saturn Ion.
  • Dealers will replace the fuel pump for free.

General Motors is recalling nearly 41,000 vehicles due to a potential fuel leak that could result in a fire. According to GM and the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the fuel leak affects five different models sold in certain states.

The most popular model affected was the 2007-2009 Chevrolet Cobalt, which the automaker recalled along with its mechanical twins: the 2007-2009 Pontiac G5 and 2007 Saturn Ion. According to GM, the recall applies to 2007 Cobalt, G5 and Ion models sold in Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada or Texas; 2008 Cobalt and G5 models sold in Arizona; and 2009 Cobalt and G5 models sold in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Nevada, Oklahoma or Texas.

In addition to the Cobalt, G5 and Ion, the recall also affected the 2007 Chevrolet Equinox crossover and its mechanical twin, the 2007 Pontiac Torrent. The automaker says it has sold Equinox and Torrent models affected by the recall in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.

According to NHTSA, the recall is necessary because a plastic part in the fuel pump may crack, potentially causing a fuel leak. The government agency says such leakage could lead to a fire, making the affected vehicles unsafe to drive and rendering the recall necessary.

While it will be easy for GM to track down owners of recalled cars who purchased their vehicles new, it's harder for the automaker to notify used car owners. As a result, owners with questions can call General Motors at 1-800-521-7300 for more information on the recall.

If you purchased one of the affected vehicles used, we suggest calling GM as a precaution--even if you don't live in one of the states on the automaker's list. Because thousands of used cars sell at auctions every year, it's hard to know precisely where any one vehicle was originally sold without checking with GM.

GM says it will mail out recall notices shortly, urging drivers of affected vehicles to visit a dealership. There, affected vehicles will have their fuel pumps inspected and replaced free of charge, if necessary.

What it means to you: Because it only affects vehicles sold in certain states, this GM recall is complicated. So don't hesitate to call the automaker if you're unsure whether it affects your car.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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