This paper outlines the key elements in a laboratory reliability verification test program for an automotive sub-system. Many of these elements are described in some detail through the various stages of development from prototype concept to production. By means of an actual case study, verification testing of the 1970 Ford Anti-Theft Steering Column, steps required to design tests which yield meaningful information and the rationale used to analyze the results are presented. The steering column on a late model automobile is a complex system which combines several functions and features; steering, shifting, warning devices (turn signal and emergency flashers), ignition switch, anti-theft devices plus several safety features. The effectiveness of the overall verification program is evaluated through the presentation of actual field-feedback results.