So, do you think the trigger wheel was removed at some point for some other repair and not properly torqued/loctited?
Most likely a manufacturing defect.
Any competent mechanic should be able to diagnose this, but there are too many code-reading parts-changers out there masquerading as competent mechanics.
Good job, Cline.
Finished up the repair this mourning, Thought I'd share.....
Pretty easy repair using a "Wedge" tool.
*Bring up the cam gear timing marks, which is roughly 10 O'clock for the Intake cam & 1 O'clock for the Exhaust cam....Puts both cams in a neutral position where no spring pressure wants to rotate them.
*Clean the area of the timing marks with some brake clean, Mark both timing marks on the corresponding chain links with a paint pen or white out....I prefer a paint pen
*As a safety measure & I'm working by myself....I installed a breaker bar on the end of the Exhaust cam that will hit the core support & stop the cam if things went sideways. None of my Snap-on 3/8" extensions would fit the D-slot in the cam! Had to use a 40 year old, well worn Craftsman extension
*Loosen the caps on the Intake cam, And remove the front one that also serves as a Thrust. I clamped a pair of Vise Grips on the cam so I could slide it from from my vantage point.
*Install the "Wedge" firmly & squarely down between the chain.....This prevents the tensioner from ratcheting out, Gives a little slack in the chain, And if things go sideways....Prevents the chain from coming off the crank gear.
*Remove the 3 Torx bolts attaching the gear to the cam, Slide the cam back while working the gear off.
*Once the gear is loose, Hold the chain with one hand & work the gear out with the other.
*Have the new Gear/Phaser within arms reach so you don't have to let go of the loose chain.
*Work the chain onto the new gear while aligning the timing mark on the gear with the one on the chain.
*Slide the cam forward & work it 'til the keyway aligns & the gear will seat, It's very noticeable!
*Install one of the gear bolts & snug it up....Take a break
*Put everything back together & torque all fasteners to factory specs.
Aisin does the same trick on their water pumps for Toyota - and I've seen OEM replacement glass from Pilkington that has the OE's name polished off or screened over with the Pilk logo.
That job looks almost like replacing the timing chain and tensioner on a VW 2.0L TSI CCTA engine in some aspect - the cam phaser looks identical as well.