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An old thread but hopefully this may help someone fix an older Renault.
I had exactly this same fault on my old Mk11 Espace, which I traced to a dud temperature sender on the top hose housing.
When the engine temp was sufficient to open the stat, the sender/switch activated and killed the engine.
The second time the sender failed was when the engine temp was very high - same result, but had to wait 30 minutes or so for the motor to cool sufficiently to deactivate the switch.
I think the senders were around £30 a pop from memory.
Currently in Francofile's garage:
2000 Renault Espace RXE 2.0 16V, plus a 1973 V12 E-Type Jaguar (When it's all back together again).