2001 XG300 "threw a rod" ...why?

My sister-in-law's XG300 threw a rod. Repair was an engine swap which was $5000, probably more than the car was worth. Anybody have any insight on
what might have caused this? The car has never been driven hard, and has 75,000 miles on it. Had the timing belt replaced when the alternator went out at 55,000 miles. I feel somewhat bad because they bought the car after seeing our XG350 and how much we like it...now if the cause is that they never changed oil in it (suspect they changed oil fairly regularly, but also suspect they may never have checked the oil) then I will stop feeling bad. The story we got when it happenned is that the oil light was not on, a loud noise occurred - like a jack hammer- for 5 seconds, then the noise stopped, then the oil light came on.
Dan.
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You'd have to disassemble if you want a good answer, and even then, it may not be conclusive.
Normally, when an engine throws a rod, the bearing on the rod in question seizes up. Usually, on lower mileage vehicles like the one in question, this happens due to improper maintenance such as failure to change the oil regularly or failure to monitor oil level. On higher mileage engines, this tends to occur more frequently due to wear.
Since you report this car was purchased based on positive experience with an XG350, I'm presuming it was purchased used. In these cases, it's usually difficult to tell how well the previous owner cared for the car.
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