To assure the quality and reliability expected by the customer is a particularly important aspect of motor vehicle development. Accurate analysis of the behaviour of the product to be replaced and the goals established for the new product provide a first basis. Since reliability and life of a product are high-ranking development goals, applied techniques of reliability engineering play an important part. This paper provides an overview of practical applications of reliability theory to vehicle development from the specification of reliability goals to prediction, verification and analysis. Specification of reliability and useful life and the application of the most important methods of prediction and analysis are illustrated with the aid of examples. The aim is to demonstrate suitable approaches to the establishment and implementation of reliability programs for the development of vehicles and components. As part of management objectives, the consistent execution of reliability programs can decisively contribute to market success.