The machines' heating elements can fail and cause fires. GE has received seven reports of fires, three of which caused extensive property damage.
The dishwashers were sold nationwide from March 2006 through August 2009 for $350 to $850. They came in black, white, bisque, stainless steel and CleanSteel colors and finishes.
The government said people should stop using the dishwashers and immediately disconnect the electric supply by shutting off the fuse or circuit breaker. The government said not to return recalled dishwashers to stores where they were purchased but that GE will provide free repairs or rebates toward new dishwashers.
In a speech Thursday at the National Press Club, CPSC chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum urged people to respond right away.
"My message to consumers is to immediately stop using these recalled dishwashers and disconnect the power supply to the unit," Tenenbaum said.
Tenenbaum credited a new consumer safety law with making people safer. The 2008 law and its implementation have "created one of the strongest product safety systems in the world."
For more information on the dishwasher recall, people can contact GE at (866) 918-8760 or visit GE's website at www.geappliances.com/recall