A risk of engine fires has caused General Motors to recall 475,000 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars, including more than 60,000 in Canada.

A GM Canada spokeswoman says the recall applies to almost half a million Cruze vehicles overall, with 61,299 of them in Canada.

The company says fires can ignite when fluids drip onto a plastic shield below the engine. The fix involves cutting into the shield to let the fluid drain on to the roadway.

GM says it knows of 30 fires caused by the problem, but nobody has been injured as a result. Most of the fires were caused by spills during oil changes that weren't cleaned properly. Cruzes with worn-out manual transmissions also can leak fluid.

The recall covers 2011 and 2012 models that were produced at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio between September 2010 and May 2012. The Cruze is one of GM's best-selling compact models.

With files from The Canadian Press