The recall affects five-cylinder diesel models S60, V60, XC60, V70 and XC70 built from mid-2015.
Owners of the Swedish cars are being sent letters directly, asking them to take their vehicles to their local dealership for a 30-minute no-fee fix.
The cars are being recalled across 40 markets, but those affected have been sold mainly in Sweden, Britain and Germany.
Group spokesman Stefan Elfstrom said the glitch can be “unpleasant” but the company has no information about any accidents caused as a result. Both the engine and electric system start up again immediately.
Chinese company Geely Holding bought the Volvo brand in 2010. The car-maker recently unveiled vehicles that can be unlocked and switched on using a mobile phone app rather than conventional keys.