Part of a global 297,000 unit recall, the fault was leaked by Swedish newspaper, Goeteborgs-Posten.
The move follows incidents of smoke and fire in the ignition discharge module in Saab's 9-3 and 9-5 models built between 2000 and 2002, which had been investigated by the US traffic safety authority NHTSA.
“There have been no reported incidents in the UK and we are confident that will remain the case. The recall is just a safety precaution,” said a Saab spokesperson.
A fault with the ignition system causes overheating and in some cases produces a burning smell, according to Saab.
Saab said it would have to build up replacement stocks of its ignition discharge modules before they could start the UK recall, scheduled for March next year.
The spokesperson said: “We were aware of the fault 10 days ago and it was unfortunate the fault was leaked to the press.”
Saab would not disclose the estimated cost of the recall.