The VVT operates by oil pressure. Without any pressure, codes should be set and the check engine light would illuminate.
Idiot lights are fine. Most people couldn’t tell you if a gauge reading is good or bad anyway. That light is more than likely driven solely by the sending unit itself. No computer involved.
That motor probably holds around 5 quarts. It could be 3 quart low, nothing on the stick, and still operate fine. VVT operation starts to drop out when the oil level gets extremely low, which results in low pressure because most of the oil is up in the heads and the pump starts to suck air. Say maybe when there’s only a quart or so left in the engine.