I have exactly the same problem. Ford have quoted just shy of £1500 to repair it - I only paid 3K for the car 5 months ago!!! A none Ford dealer have suggested converting to manual. They reckon that it could be done for £500 including parts. Does anyone have any comments or experience with this???
Just an update on my own situation, after several months of wrangling with the finance company and the financial ombudsman, I eventually had to succumb and obtain an independent engineers report at a cost. The report was done independently by Douglas Reid of Elite Inspections, who I would highly recomment. ( www.eliteinspections.co.uk ). In his report Douglas found several problems which had all contributed to the breakdown, which were actually there when I bought the car! So my problems were actually inherent!
I, too was in the same boat, where I had only purchased the car in the July at a cost of £3495, and it packed in on me in November of the same year. If it had not been for my persistence and Douglas's belief in me when I was describing the problems then I would have given up, but I always felt that I was right as I encountered the problems from the very first day. I also tracked down the previous owner and found that he had exactly the same problems and had spent a fortune on it in the 2 years that he had the car. I contacted numerous papers, car magazines, Ford etc and no one was interested in helping me! If this is a known problem to Ford, irrespective of where you buy the vehicle, I believe they could do more to help.
I believe that if it had not been for the high handed attitude and non co-operation of the finance company involved that this would have been settled long before it was but they threatened me with different scenarios and then lifted the car without my consent and took it down to an auction site in Leeds!
I do know that the car has been sold and I have every sympathy for the new owner and can only hope that whoever has bought it has better luck than me!!
I wish you the very best of luck and hope that you can get a satisfactory conclusion and hopefully a lot quicker than I did.
P.S. After Douglas's report and several phone calls and letters later, I can now say with great joy that my finance agreement has been written off, some payments refunded and the cost of Douglas's report. I certainly didn't make out of it but then thats not why I persisted in fighting, I did it because I believed that I was right, but I would say I broke even. But that in no way compensated for the stress, inconvenience and anxiety that I suffered for almost 11 months!!
I hope this helps someone in some small way. If you have a problem and believe in yourself, fight it. I am not saying the last 11 months have been easy, but if this helps anyone else then I'll be happy!!