The latest driver _isn't_ bricking the chip. What it does it detect counterfeit chips and then send a specific stream 'NON GENUINE DEVICE FOUND!' to the device instead of the requested data.
I'm glad that FTDI is highlighting the problem of fake chips. I wish they could be a little less heavy handed (just refuse to work).
As for those people talking about "critical" usage... if FTDI just refused to talk to the chip then you'd bitch and scream in the same way.
There are two real problems, here, and neither are FTDI's making:
1) Fake chips and a lack of control in how they get into products. "Chain of trust" is a biggie, and this MUST be used in critical scenarios; if you're buying something that may impact life then damn well make sure you've bought from a vendor that has, itself, verified all its suppliers. Otherwise you, the purchaser, are culpable. And if it's a large reputable vendor then you might be able to get them to cover you...
2) Apply patches to production critical servers without having testing before hand. WTF, people? It makes me cringe; I've seen doctors and dentists use windows machines to do patient related stuff. I know they won't have a test bed, so any patches will be on live machines. This makes #1 even more important. (I wonder if this is why my doctor's systems were all down last year... hmm!)
FTDI have made some of the best USB chips around. So good that people are passing off counterfeit products as the original. On the streets of New York the cops will (sometimes) arrest fake Gucci street sellers. Where is the equivalent cops arresting fake FTDI sellers?
If you unknowingly buy stolen goods then you may have them confiscated. If you unknowingly buy conferfeit FTDI chips you may have them stop working.