This paper presents an approach to product design verification in which efficient and effective design verification is a key deliverable of a function failure avoidance approach to engineering. The traditional approach to design verification is discussed. The relative advantages of conducting design verification at different levels within the system hierarchy are identified and the manner in which component level testing can be made representative of usage in the field is illustrated within an automotive case study. The use of small samples sizes, a reduced number of tests and a reduction of testing complexity as a part of effective design verification is explained. The role of computer based models as the basis of virtual testing within design verification is discussed.