I have a 97 Eagle Talon and i am unsure if their was ever a timing belt recall of some kind because what over all happened was the bearing on the water pump seized snapped the Serpentine belt into the timing belt and later we learned the valve was broken in the cylinder and had to replace the motor just wondering if bad lick or not.
The water pump on your engine is driven by the timing belt. If the water pump bearing fails the timing belt will be destroyed. And because the engine is an interference engine valve damage will more than likely occur.
…having said that (Tester’s response), changing the entire engine was probably overkill. A head change, or even a head rebuild should have been sufficient.
And yes, just bad luck. Maybe. When the belt is changed on an engine like this (one where the belt drives more than one component), it’s normal practice to just go ahead and change the water pump, too. If that wasn’t done…well, you saw what can happen. It’s just cheap insurance.