Finding out about battery defects was something of a nightmare before Christmas for luxury automaker Fisker, who suddenly had to deal with news that its Karma might be liable to catch fire.

Fisker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have now officially announced a recall for 239 Karma electric sedans currently roaming the streets.

All models made between July 1, 2011 and November 3, 2011 contain misaligned hose clamps for the battery cooling system, which could spring a leak. The NHTSA recall notice describes the possible consequence of such a leak, "If coolant enters the battery compartment, an electrical short could occur possibly resulting in a fire".

Fisker is notifying owners and dealers will replace the high-voltage batter with a new one at no cost to the owners. The recall is expected to begin during January 2012.

The short-circuiting problem isn't unique to Fisker, and is currently one of the factors being investigated in the recent Chevrolet Volt fires, following an NHTSA crash test.

There have been no such fires for the Karma and the issue has been caused by battery pack supplier A123 Systems rather than Fisker itself, but the recall will do nothing to help the image of electric vehicles in light of the Volt's high-profile problems.

Automotive News reports that A123's customer notice, sent out when the issue became apparent, read "We expect this situation to have minimal financial impact on A123, and our relationship with Fisker remains strong".

Fisker and A123 are making every effort to fix the issue before it becomes a problem, ensuring its customers will still have good karma in the New Year.