A problem that could cause transmissions to fail in some 2004 full-size pickup trucks, SUVs and vans led General Motors to temporarily stop shipping the vehicles from North American assembly plants on Friday.

The Detroit News said GM also asked dealers not to sell or deliver the trucks to customers.

The transmissions, produced at GM's Willow Run transmission plant, could fail because of a faulty pump that may prevent lubrication from reaching overdrive gearset bearings, GM spokeswoman Debbie Frakes told the Detroit News, adding that the problem does not pose a safety issue.

Frakes reportedly said about 25,000 vehicles may be affected and, of those, 8,000 have been delivered to customers and another 1,700 are in transit between assembly plants and dealers.

The company believes only about 2,000 vehicles actually have the problem, Frakes told the newspaper.

The Detroit News said the problem was corrected at the transmission plant and the six assembly plants that build the Chevrolet Express and Silverado, GMC Suburban, Sierra, Savana and Yukon XL and W4 medium duty truck resumed production late on Friday.

However, every truck coming off assembly lines and in plant holding lots is being inspected before they are released for delivery to dealerships and customers while dealers must also inspect vehicles they have in stock, the paper said.

GM reportedly is urging owners to have their vehicles inspected at a dealership service centre at no cost and until they do, owners are being told to use third gear rather than overdrive.