yes it's raised.
yes our cars have a sunken cockpit like design.
yes people are going to hit it.
no i don't think it's GM's fault.
can you step on it? yes
is it meant to be stepped on? highly doubt it
should you? you decide
i always lift my leg to avoid it but sadly my passenger side doesn't always get the same treatment. just like how i sit properly in the bucket seat, but passengers seem to sit improperly making the seat wear faster.. aggravating? absolutely.. is it anyone's fault? only if you believe it is. similar to the kick plate area.. its going to get hit.. and if the speaker constantly takes hits, there may be issues..
many front doors to houses have a rubber weather strip.. and from normal wear/people colliding with it it needs to be replaced.
in both cases its just a matter of putting effort to lift higher.