The rapid growth of software intensive active safety functions in modern cars resulted in adoption of new safety development standards like ISO 26262 by the automotive industry. Hazard analysis, safety assessment and adequate verification and validation methods for software and car electronics require effort but in the long run save lives. We argue that in the face of complex software development set-up with distributed functionality, Model-Based Development (MBD) and safety-criticality of software embedded in modern cars, there is a need for evolving existing methods of MBD and complementing them with methods already used in the development of other systems (Fault Injection and Mutation Testing). Our position is that significant effectiveness and efficiency improvements can be made by applying fault injection techniques combined with mutation testing approach for verification and validation of automotive software at the model level. The improvements include such aspects as identification of safety related defects early in the development process thus providing enough time to remove the defects. The argument is based on our industrial case studies, the studies of ISO 26262 standard and academic experiments with new verification and validation methods applied to models.