Sorry Steve, but he changed it at 3000 mile intervals I believe, with filter, at a good shop. The dealer told him the oil change place was putting used oil in the vehicles, something I know is not true (we use them for our fleet) -- unless it was done to him specifically, which I doubt (although I don't exclude that possiblity). How often he changed the oil was the first thing I asked, and even though he might have lie, I don't believe he's that dishonest -- kid is working two jobs to try to go to college with no help, and is very responsible as far as I can tell. He may have to wait another year to start now.
I've been doing some digging and this isn't uncommon. Appear there are several problems, including a recall in 2000 or 2001 for a leaking intake manifold plenum that caused problems with the PCV system (and probably sucked tons of dirt in). Too small oil gallaries, engine too hot for the oil flow, oil filter too small (some of the new ones are less than 250 CC), grossly undersized oil pan (4 quarts on a big V8). Oil pump failures at very low milage (30,000) is also common, and that HAS to be a manufacturing defect -- even crap oil shouldn't eat an oil pump that fast. Also reports that the "internal" water pump can leak coolant into the crankcase via the weep hole in the bearings (if true that IS a design defect -- instant Jello).
Given the reports of the same problem in Japanese cars, I'd guess it's a 'mainstream' manufacturing choice -- inadequate lubrication is cheaper than good lubrications, given that the owner will dump the vehicle at the end of the 24 month lease.
I'm going to recommend that he change to Mobil 1 0W-40 and change the oil filter every 1000 miles with oil changes at 3000 (normally excessive for synthetic) and LOOK at the oil each change rather than just have it done.
I remember similar problems in the 70's when engine temps went up for economy reasons -- someone towing a trailer with their pickup would stop for lunch and come back to find the oil solidified. Cure was to use better oil then, who knows what it will be now.
1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!