Their judgement collectively was worse than a pack of 5th graders with high grade fireworks.
This case is even worse the the one I mentioned as there is a really easy way to safely demonstrate this exploit.
This has been their playbook about everything for a long time so I don't know why you think it would be different in this case.
- Contact the police and let them know this experiment will be conducted; and ask for police support
- Conduct this experiment on a closed road
For bonus points, throw in something like: "It's no different than your vehicle's advertisements displaying 'performed on a closed track' -- surely you're not arguing that the vehicle's performance in those advertisements is completely fake and you're deceiving consumers with said non-real-world advertising, are you?"
On the other hand, I'd rather that they be doing this work with the way they did it than not at all...
That's such a stupid tradeoff. Putting it as an either/or is silly. Doing this safely and demonstrating the alarming conclusion are not mutually exclusive.
I'd go as far as to say that the way they demonstrated this actually diminishes the message of the danger of this exploit and put's the focus on their stupidity.
Doing it the way they did clearly increases the impact of their message. To believe otherwise belies ignorance of the way information gets spread in our culture. The question is only if the increased impact was properly balanced against the increased risk.