Mercedes-Benz of North America has recalled approximately 16,900 V-8 powered 1976-model passenger cars in the United States and Canada to replace an automatic transmission control rod bushing, company officials said Friday.

In Detroit, American Motors Corp. said Friday it is recalling about 480 1981 Jeep CJ-5 and CJ-7 vehicles because of a possibility that rear seat belts on some of those vehicles cannot be buckled.

The Mercedes Benz models involved are the 450SE, 450SEL, 450SL and 450SLC.

Mercedes-Benz dealers will replace a plastic bell crank bushing with a metal one. Heat generated by the nearby emission control system catalytic converter could cause the plastic bushing to deform, said Arnold B. Shuman, manager of public relations.

This, in turn, could allow the transmission control pressure rod to dislodge and possibly prevent the throttle linkage from returning to the idle position, he said. The bushing replacement takes about 30 minutes and will be performed at no charge.

The recall was directed by the parent company, Daimler-Benz AG of Stuttgart, West Germany, after receiving reports of a problem with similarly equipped cars.

Mercedes-Benz of North America has no reports of any accidents or injuries associated with the problem, Shuman said.

In Detroit, AMC also recalled 6,600 Renault Le Car passenger cars to check for faulty spare tire mounts.

Some Le Car models may have a flexible spare tire mount that could allow the tire to disengage from the mount in a crash. Only models equipped with air conditioning are involved.

AMC said it knows of no consumer complaints in connection with the defects. Dealers will inspect the vehicles and make any necessary changes without charge, the company said.