The company says the fault is rare but can prevent airbags from deploying during a crash. Seat belts may also fail, it adds.
Trucks, cars and SUVs from the 2014-17 models are to be recalled.
The company said it would contact customers and update their software for free.
General Motors, which is based in Detroit, said the recall would not have a material impact on its financial results.
Of the 4.3m vehicles, 3.6m are in the US, where the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall on Friday.
The company says the defect concerns the sensing and diagnostic module. In rare cases it can go into test mode, meaning airbags will not inflate in a crash.
The recalled vehicles are:
- 2014-2016 Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS, Chevrolet Spark EV
- 2014-2017 Buick Encore, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Trax, Chevrolet Caprice police car and Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- 2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, Chervrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Silverado HD, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, GMC Sierra HD, Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac Escalade ESV
In 2014 the company recalled 2.6 million vehicles in connection with an ignition switch fault that disabled the airbags. It also paid compensation for 124 deaths.