I think this bug is in desperate need of a systematic test, so I've attached a script which attempts to do precisely that. You need to run the script like this:
The script will open 5 files (named 'file_<i>') under the specified directory and start appending one line per second to each of them, until you stop it with Ctrl-C. If the script is re-run, lines are appended to the previous contents.
If instead of stopping the script you turn off or reboot your computer by force (say with SysRq+B, or holding the power button), you would be reproducing the conditions under which the bug seems to occur.
My / partition is ext4 (but not my /home, so I haven't suffered this bug as much as others have). Running the script on '/test' without any initial files and rebooting with SysRq+B gave:
- rebooting in 30 seconds resulted in all 5 files zeroed
- rebooting in 45 seconds resulted in 4 files having 40 lines and one having 41
- rebooting in 60 seconds resulted in 4 files having 55 lines and one having 56
I would think that the first data flush on the initially-empty files takes too long to occur. This would explain the problems other people are having if the configuration files they mention are deleted and rewritten from scratch, and the system crashes before the first flush. Or maybe I'm completely wrong in my interpretation, so go ahead and do your own tests.
Hope this helps!