"so I ended up applying my own update from an Android hacker's cloud store"
Yeah I thought about that but the link came from a contributor to a thread on XDA where a group of hackers (using the original meaning of the word) were dissecting the infotainment centre to work out how to install Play store apps. There were at least half a dozen knowledgeable hackers who had the chance to call foul on the posting and several who had already applied it. The thread is still ongoing (here for anyone interested) so I think it was a pretty small risk.
Pity the patch didn't actually fix what I wanted and now that the message has come back I have even less idea what 'improved' is supposed to mean.
If the costs to fix software mirrored those to physically fix hardware we'd get better products
True but we'd also have less innovation and I don't think computers would be as endemic and ubiquitous as they are now. Then again maybe that would be a good thing :)