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  1. Hi, I'm after a bit of help regarding a Small Claim I lodged (up here in Scotland) for an implement of an obligation against Dodge (as in the car manufacturer). To cut a long story short they carried out some work via a manufacturers safety recall on my vehicle, which obviously i had no choice about getting done. Part of this was to update the software on the ECU which caused a conflict with the central locking. Basically they admitted the programme wasn't compatible with all models of ECU but wouldn't remove the software because it was part of the safety recall that was carried out. They said the only way to rectify the fault was to change the ECU for a newer model compatible with the software. Dodge refused to pay for this even though it was their fault. After nearlly 10 months of phone calls, arguments etc etc their best offer was to give us £500 towards the cost of a new one, which was rubbish when the part alone is the best part of £800, obviously with fitting costs on the top of that. In August i raised a small claim against them for them to basically fix the car, cover all the costs of this and to pay me compensation for the 10 months of messing about, phone calls etc. The papers were served on them on 30th August, and they received them and signed for them on 31st August as i checked this on the Royal Mail website. The return date for the case was october 6th, but surprise surprise we heard nothing and neither did the Sheriff Court. I.e the defender failed to lodge a response by the return date. As soon as the court opened the following week i took down my form of minute requesting the decree to be served on them because they failed to respond in time. As if by magic, 3 days later - 7 days after the return date i had a phone call from their solicitor saying that they were going to file a late response due to an "administrative error" and apparently they wanted to go to court to defend themselves. My question is, are they allowed to do this? I assume they mean that they will be asking for a recall of the decree on friday when this goes to court? Surely the Sheriff will throw it out because they haven't even actually lodged a defence regardless of whether it was on time or not? All we have got from the solicitor is a copy of their summons with no statement of defence on it other them asking us to quantify the expenses and what we are claiming for. What exactly is the law?
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