Nec 4 defect query

We’re a subcontractor working under nec 4 subcontract option a. We have a query on a defect dispute

Contract:
No amendments to defect clauses
No z clauses for additional defect information

Therefore the contract is unamended.

The clients nec supervisor has raised a defect against the contractor.

The contractor sent us an email mentioning this and asked for discussion on the matter. Prior to discussion the contractor commenced with prep works - installing traffic management and breaking out tarmac. No actual wording to the effect it is our defect and must be complete by certain date in line with contract data/clauses.

We pushed for an instruction to complete the works as we didn’t believe it was our fault. In
Good faith and to maintain working relations we agreed to carry actual the repair only free of charge. The contractor arranged reinstatement of the road with their other subbies and completion works. Unfortunately there is no written correspondence of the agreement.

2 months on and We’ve come to the end of the works and the contractor is trying push their costs on to us to reduce final contract value as they believe it was our defect. Their costs are inflated as there were various subcontractors involved with their element of works.

No forms/processes were created for communication to notify defects in our contract. The defect is recorded through cemar between client and contractor which doesn’t form part of our contract, a copy has never been provided nor do we have access for information purposes or the likes.

Our stance is that the contractor can’t enforce costs on to us as they never notified properly. Furthermore if they believe the email was notification they never gave us opportunity to carry out repair at our cost.

From memory the nec defect clauses does not mention the word instruct only to notify. What would define a notification under the contract?

Does the defect correction period commence from access date ie tm install date

If we have to accept a defect can the client charge for access (traffic mgt) as it is their duty to provide access

Any other advice that could be helpful?

@stevencevans do you have any advice?