The results, which beat expectations, were helped by a recovery in the US market and strong sales in China.
The profit figure was also boosted by proceeds from the sale of its stake in Delphi Automotive, its former car parts division.
Excluding that, and other one-off items, its profit was $1.7bn.
Revenues rose 15% to $36.2bn, with sales worldwide up 12%. In the US sales were 25% higher.
GM also said it expected its full-year earnings to show "solid improvement"
The results represent GM's fifth consecutive profitable quarter.
GM's last set of results, for the full financial year 2010, were its first full year of profit since coming out of bankruptcy.
During 2008 GM went into bankruptcy protection. It was eventually given $49.5bn in government funding, accompanied by a major restructuring including cuts in staff and factory capacity.
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