The recall affects some C300, C350 and C63 AMG cars from the 2008 through 2011 model years.
Corrosion on a connector can cause the tail, brake or rear turn signal lights to dim or fail. That can make the cars less visible to other drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.
The problem affects nearly 253,000 cars in the U.S. and another 31,000 in Canada. A Mercedes spokesman says cars in other countries also are affected, but he did not have a number. The company says if the problem occurs, drivers will see a dashboard warning message.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says dealers will replace bulb holders and any rusted connectors at no cost to owners. Replacement parts aren't expected to be available until August or September.