This would be fine but the exact call is:-
$_input = $this->_getInputFromSerialized('_xfStylePropertiesData', false)
This causes the method to hide the exception thrown in php > 5.3.9 due to excessive input vars which in turn bins all of the data and corrupts the settings.
1. Should _getInputFromSerialized ever catch this error as doing so will cause data loss unless every caller is updated to fail safe?
2. If it does catch it, it should always be logged so the issue is easily trackable.