This paper presents an approach to product design and development based on function failure avoidance, using of series of well known engineering tools including Function Fault Tree Analysis, P-Diagram and Design Verification. A 4-step function failure mode avoidance process is presented. The use of the engineering tools in an integrated and synergistic manner to achieve robust and reliable product design is illustrated by considering information flow within an automotive case study. The central role of FMEA within the process is described. The authors’ experience of using the process is discussed.