Fashion House Burberry has ordered Brighton and Hove's favourite tuk-tuk off the road.

The company, which reported an operating profit of £154 million in its preliminary results for the last financial year, has threatened legal action against the Chavrolet, one of a fleet of 12 motorised rickshaws which have been carrying the public around the city since July.

Burberry's distinctive tartan has become associated with so-called Chav culture, much to the annoyance of the company.

Managers decided enough was enough when they spotted the Chavrolet whizzing around Brighton in their livery.

TucTuc Ltd, which spent £1,000 painting the vehicle, has been warned it is infringing Burberry's copyright and has been asked to remove the vehicle from its fleet.

Dominic Ponniah, 26, TucTuc's executive director, originally disputed the claim but has now relented.

He said: "We are disappointed that the Chavrolet will have to go.

"It's a tongue-in-cheek design and people thought it was quite fun and entertaining.

"It makes people smile.

"We're not ruling out another Chavrolet with a completely different design in the future."

The Chavrolet, voted the most popular design by those attending the company's launch, was taken off the road today.

It will be a week before it returns to the streets under a different guise.

Other tuk-tuks include the Strawberry, the Swiss Cheese, the Union Jack Britannia, the dotty Polka, the cow-print Friesian, the electronic circuit design CPU, the Chinese dragon Daruma, Valentine love-hearts, the hot rod- style Heatwave and Fleur-de-lis.

The final design is Gresham Blake's signature chalk pinstripe, in honour of the Brighton celebrity tailor who has designed the drivers' uniforms.

TucTuc Ltd paid £2,000 for each of the 12 vehicles imported from Bombay, India, before spending a further £2,500 on each rickshaw, installing seat belts, side impact protection, roll bars and head rests to meet strict safety requirements.

Mr Ponniah came up with the idea for introducing the vehicles to Brighton and Hove when he travelled around Asia after his studies at the London School of Economics.

He is the first person to obtain an operator's licence for the vehicles in the UK and plans to introduce ten more tuk-tuks to Brighton and Hove before the end of the year.

Burberry have declined to comment.