Ok, so it's not the tuning that sends the Sony out to lunch, but the bad data in the channel table itself. That means your only option is to keep that channel out of the table in the first place.
A workaround in DC prior to 2009-02-18 would be to keep the antenna disconnected until the auto scan passes channel 8, because all the digital channels are currently on UHF. But this will not work once channel 7 and 9 move back to VHF.
More generally, the way to get past PSIP problems is to avoid auto scans altogether and add channels manually. Most TVs and CECBs will add channels to the virtual channel table if you simply tune the RF channel of each desired channel, one by one. With some sets, there’s a menu option to do the same. This is, of course, a pain, and you may have to do a little research to find all the relevant RF channels, but it does work.
TVs and CECBs that do NOT let you add channels manually should definitely be avoided, however. PSIP problems will be a fact of life in the digital era, no matter what happens with WMDO. Anybody who thinks there will never be another PSIP issue after 2009-02-18 is dreaming.
afigatt is absolutely right, of course, that faulty PSIP data should NEVER crash a tuner. But there will always be the possibility of data idiosyncrasies that software engineers haven’t considered, so even if your tuner doesn’t crash today, you can never be sure it won’t crash tomorrow, unless you’ve written and verified the software yourself. The best you can do is insure that your TV or CECB allows manual tuning, to protect yourself against being put completely out of business by one station’s faulty data.