16/12/2015 05:41 GMT | Updated 16/12/2016 05:12 GMT

Amazon 'Throw Hoverboards Away' Advice Amid Safety Alert

Amazon has reportedly advised customers who have bought hoverboards to throw them away as a watchdog urged all retailers to remove them from sale.

The internet giant told customers in an email to take their self-balancing boards, which have raised safety concerns, to recycling centres, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Listings appeared to have been removed from Amazon UK and the paper said Argos and John Lewis had also pulled the product from shelves.

The Government has warned consumers to "think twice" about buying the must-have Christmas gift amid fears over imitation devices being sold at discount prices.

Earlier this month, National Trading Standards said 15,000 of the 17,000 scooters examined since October 15 had been seized, mainly for having non-compliant electrical components that could explode or catch fire.

Many of the boards were found to have non-compliant plugs without fuses, which increase the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire, and cut-off switches which failed when tested.

Chargers, cabling and batteries were also found to fail safety standards.

The Retail Ombudsman watchdog said business could be liable for any injuries.

Chief ombudsman Dean Dunham said: "I would urge UK retailers to take the responsible step of removing unsafe hoverboards from sale or face the risk of the full force of the Consumer Protection Act, under which the retailer can be held liable for any injuries caused by unsafe goods.

"Retailers who continue to sell hoverboards, that they deem to be safe, should also take note of the Crown Prosecution Service's position. They have made clear that for safety reasons it is illegal to ride these hoverboards in public (on the road or paths) and this important information should be communicated to the consumer at the point of sale.

"Consumers who have already purchased a hoverboard, perhaps as a Christmas present, should contact the retailer and for their written assurance that it's safe and in particular that it has a compliant plug with a fuse.

"Where retailers are unable to provide such assurance, consumers should simply ask for a refund as they are entitled to under the Consumer Rights Act and report the matter to Citizens Advice consumer service by calling 03454 04 05 06."