This paper describes an innovative way to characterize the strength of spot welds. A wedge test has been developed to generate interfacial failures in weldments and observe in-situ the crack propagation. An energy analysis quantifies the spot weld crack resistance. Finite Element calculations investigate the stresses and strains along the crack front. A comparison of the local loading state with experimentally observed crack fronts provides the necessary data for a failure criterion in spot weld fusion zones. The method is applied to spot welds of Advanced High Strength steels.