WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Mercedes-Benz is recalling 16,130 MY 2009 M-Class W164 passenger vehicles equipped with the optional power lift gate. 

Because of a faulty seal around the rear tail lamp assembly, water may enter the rear compartment containing the spare tire. Water contamination of the control unit for the power lift gate can result in disabling of the power lift gate motor, according to the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This creates the risk that water could lead to a short circuit, which in turn could potentially lead to a fire. 

Dealers will replace the seal of the rear tail lamp assembly with a thicker one and reposition the affected power lift gate control unit inside the chassis. This service will be performed free of charge. 

The recall is expected to begin in April. 

Owners can contact Mercedes-Benz at (800) 367-6372.