As you said, no amount of engineering will suffice to those who don't/won't do the right thing. I don't necessarily hold VW or any car maker responsible for that. The driver even had incorrect too long, wrong model floor mats in the car, which was deemed to have caused the accident in the first place Causing the accelerator to stick open. I don't fault the mfg in that instance either.1 mile - 60 miles should be enough to get off the tracks, but history has shown that humans will not do the right thing in all cases.
Take the CHP officer who perished with his family when his floor mats caused their throttle to be stuck to the floor.
He could have held the Start/Stop button for three seconds to shut off the car, and much more intuitively, could have shifted the car to neutral.
But he didn't and tragically died. I work in a company that deals with many vehicles and drivers, and far too many of them figure out ways to ignore symptoms/lights/warnings until they are stranded.
Build a better mousetrap and the world will build better idiots. It will only be a matter of time before an HPFP does directly cause harm through a stall.
At least in the US, all but a few early ones were covered from my reading.