Lithium-ion (or Li-ion) battery systems have been widely used as the main power source in new generation electric vehicles. Their mechanical performance is very important for vehicle crashworthiness design. In this research, a combined experimental and computational study has been performed to investigate the failure behavior of vehicle battery modules subject to high force wedge cutting. The tests were conducted on a commercial Li-ion battery module at very low speed using a high capacity material testing system. The force and voltage change as a function of cutting depth were measured, and the failure modes were analyzed. A finite element (FE) model based on an explicit FEA solver, was developed to simulate the wedge cutting process. The model predictions demonstrated reasonable agreement. In addition, the influence of several material constants in the failure model on the structural response was also discussed.