Various states, including Louisiana, have lemon laws to help protect consumers when purchasing cars. Has anyone actually used one of these laws? Let me explain why I'm asking, and why I'll never buy a Mini again.

Both my wife and I were very happy with our Mini, and it performed well for a good year. The car is like a go cart on crack and a pure joy to drive... when it works.

After a period of not using the car for a weeks, the car wouldn't start for us. We had a tow truck bring it in (the dealer is in Baton Rouge, and is the closest Mini dealer) we discovered that it was our fault for not driving it enough.

All of a sudden our "little bundle of joy" car actually had some responsibilities and we needed to make sure we drove it at least once a week.

That was incident #1.

So it worked fine for a few months and then began repeating the same behaviour. This time we brought it in and they said there were a few problems, including the thing that gets gas to the engine. (Sorry, I'm not a engine guy. I like cool cars, but don't ask me about the engines.) Once again they said it may be our fault for putting some bad gas in (bad gas?) but there were definite mechanical issues they said they fixed.

That was incident #2.

Then last week, the car once again had issues starting. We had it brought in last Monday. They kept it all week and said this time that the issue was with the little light in the trunk. Apparently it wasn't turning off and draining the battery. After having gone to Baton Rouge twice, I demanded they send the car back to me, and they did, which was nice. Friday night my wife and I used the Mini to go out and it worked fine.

That was incident #3.

Saturday (yesterday) I went to move the Mini around our main car so we could go to a party with the kids - and once again - the Mini refused to start. It's not a battery issue, as far as I know, as the engine was turning over, but sounded like it had an extreme cough. I revved the engine enough to keep it going and was able to move it, but then turned it off. The service engine light was brightly lit.

So, this is the 4th time now, and from how I read the law, it seems like I'm due either a full refund or a new car. This is absolutely insane since my wife and I haven't even put 500 miles on the car. As I said, it is just our date night/for fun type car.

I called the manager on Saturday and complained, and of course nothing could be done so we agreed we would talk tomorrow morning. How strong of a case do I have for getting my money back, and should I contact a lawyer?

Oh - and this car was bought from Brian Harris BMW of Baton Rouge. I don't think I have many readers in Louisiana, but you may want to avoid them. I can't say it is their fault, of course, but they keep returning a car to me in a so-called "fixed" state that is certainly not fixed.